EU ready to lift plane emissions tax until autumn 2013

EU ready to lift plane emissions tax until autumn 2013

The European Union's climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she was proposing the suspension because Brussels believed there were signs that an agreement could be reached at the international level.

The EU imposed the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) on January 1, but over two dozen countries, including India, Russia, China and the United States, have opposed the move, saying it violates international law.

Brussels says the scheme is designed to reduce carbon emissions blamed for climate change, and will help the 27-nation bloc achieve its goal of cutting emissions 20 percent by 2020.

But airlines allege it will cost 17.5 billion euros ($21.2 billion) over eight years.

The EU counters that the cost is manageable, estimating it could add between four and 24 euros to the price of a round-trip long-haul flight.

India and China have been at the forefront in opposing the scheme. India in April barred its airlines from complying with the EU carbon fee, joining China in resistance.