Carriers afraid they'll cough up for CO2

A passenger jet leaves an emission trail behind

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The European Union has charged a number of major airlines with fixing the price of jet fuel for cargo planes. British Airways and Japan Airlines have been cited. More carriers are being investigated.

The E.U. has also been working to get airlines to reduce carbon emissions. A new law requiring lower emissions has been bumped back a year. As Megan Williams reports, it's a watered-down version of an earlier bill, but it's still enough to make non-European carriers nervous.


Megan Williams: The European Union is trumpeting the proposed law as a bold step towards fighting climate change.

The bill sets a limit for the amount of CO2 planes can give off. Carriers will be given emissions permits and can the buy the rest in an auction. If they fly or pollute less with greener technology, they can sell off their surplus to other airlines.

But in an echo of the fight at the global warming conference in Bali, the U.S. government wants an international agreement first. Many airlines fear they'll be paying billions of extra dollars, and warn that ticket prices will rise. Others blame the congested skies around airports as a big cause of excess emissions.

Environmental watchdog groups, on the other hand, point out that airline pollution is the fastest-growing cause of CO2 emissions. They say the E.U. proposal does little to reduce it.

I'm Megan Williams for Marketplace.

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