All flights into, out of, and within the European Union will be included in the bloc’s emissions-trading scheme as of 2012, the E.U. Parliament decided Thursday. If the plan is given final approval, airlines will have to cut emissions 3 percent in 2012 and 5 percent per year from 2013 on. Airlines would buy 15 percent of their emissions permits from the E.U.; the rest would be allocated for free. Big Air Travel strongly opposes the plan, saying it would be extra expense for an already struggling industry. The United States is also opposed, and insists that forcing non-European airlines to cap emissions would be illegal under international aviation rules. E.U. officials say the plan is legal, and hope that it’s just a first step toward an eventual global agreement on aviation emissions.
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