EU seeks carbon tax for all flights over Europe

A passenger plane after takeoff from Switzerland's Geneva International Airport on March 11, 2010.

BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Commission wants to impose carbon emission charges for all flights using Europe’s airspace.

Wednesday’s proposal by the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm would force airlines to buy carbon emission permits for all flights within Europe but also for the parts of intercontinental flights that use the bloc’s airspace.

That means, for example, that a U.S. Airline flying from New York to Frankfurt would have to buy pollution rights under the EU emission trading system for the part of the route within Europe’s airspace.

The proposal still requires approval from the European Parliament and the bloc’s member states. The Commission hopes it will enter into force next year.

The legislation would apply until 2020 when a recently agreed international airline carbon emissions tax scheme comes into force.

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