UPDATE 4-EU Commission freezes airline carbon emissions law

Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:09pm EST
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* EU member states will have to endorse Commission plan

* EU flights will still have to comply with EU ETS scheme

* Non-EU flights get breathing space for 2013

* EU carbon market rises ahead of draft proposal to bolster market

By Barbara Lewis

BRUSSELS, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The European Union will freeze for a year its rule that all airlines must pay for their carbon emissions for flights into and out of EU airports, the EU executive said, following threats of international retaliation.

Flights within the European Union will still have to pay for their carbon emissions. The year-long exemption will apply to flights linking EU airports to countries outside of the bloc.

Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she had agreed "to stop the clock" to create a positive atmosphere for international talks on an alternative global plan to tackle airline emissions.

"But let me be very clear: if this exercise does not deliver - and I hope it does - then needless to say we are back to where we are today with the EU ETS. Automatically."   Continued...