EU Emissions: trading Missing the point

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On 9 July, the European Parliament is due to rubber stamp the deal agreed last week with the EU Presidency. This will impose an Emissions Trading System on all airlines landing and taking off at a Community airport, effective 2012. All rhetoric apart, there are at least two major faults with this action: it is unilateral and will undoubtedly provoke foreign government annoyance – and, probably, retaliation; it also will impact most unfavourably on airlines which rely predominantly on European markets. Inevitably the EU airlines themselves will be worst hit, but many others will be caught in the net. According to AEA and IATA, the additional cost to travellers (for they will be the ones who foot the bill) of airlines being forced to trade in the proposed system will be around USD5 billion a year.

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