Planet Gore

Cap and Trade in the EU


Low-cost airlines claimed Monday they will not make windfall profits from a trading program intended to limit their greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union wants all airlines that fly within its borders to trade pollution permits beginning in 2011, forcing them to buy more permits if they want to operate more or longer flights.

The EU’s cap-and-trade program gives companies a permit to pollute that they can sell to other companies if they use cleaner technology or emit less carbon dioxide. Businesses with more permits than they need can potentially profit.

But EU governments and lawmakers plans to force airlines to buy 15 percent of available permits to avoid any profiteering – something the European Low Fares Airline Association say is unlikely to happen.

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