A proposed law that would regulate emissions from airlines taking off from or landing in the European Union has been approved by environment ministers. The bill to include airlines in the E.U.’s carbon-trading scheme was scaled back from the version passed by the E.U. Parliament last month, aiming to start in 2012 instead of 2011 and making airlines buy only 10 percent of their carbon permits, with the rest distributed free, instead of the original 25 percent. The amended proposal also caps emissions at 100 percent of average emissions from 2004 to 2006, instead of 90 percent. The plan still needs final approval by E.U. governments, which is unlikely to happen until late 2008. Plenty of complaining from the airline industry (“we’ll go out of business!”), the United States (“it will hinder trade!”), and environmentalists (“it’s not ambitious enough!”) is guaranteed in the meantime.

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