EU Grounds Airline Emissions Trading Program
Citing progress being made on a global airline emissions trading deal, and not the persistent outcry from the United States, China, and India (primarily), the European Union plan to charge airlines for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their flights landing at EU airports has been put on hold.
BBC News quotes EU climate head Connie Hedegaard as saying that the program will be halted for one year, in anticipation of progress being made by the International Civil Aviation Organization on a global deal.
The program has been running all of this year for flights originating and ending within the EU, but would have been expanded to all flights into or from EU airports.
Objections have been raised for some time to the plan from various nations, with the alternating rationale that either the program would be too expensive for airlines and passengers (which it very well may not be, if the cost of a carbon offset on a flight is any indication), or it won't be effective without a global deal (a more reasonable assessment, if still likely self-serving on the part of airlines).
I've always maintained that if we can't afford to pay for the pollution caused by flying, both personally, corporately, or nationally, then we can't afford to fly at all.