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EU Says Aviation-Emissions Levies to Help Spur Global Program

The European Union said its introduction of emissions levies on aviation will help spur efforts toward a global agreement.

The EU’s program is “a concrete step, which at least forces people to take positions,” Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said today in an interview in Singapore, where he is attending an air show.

Countries including China and India have objected to the addition of aviation to the European carbon-trading system last month because of concerns about costs and sovereignty. Airlines have also called for the program to be halted in favor of a planned global system.

“I would like to see what exactly the others want,” Kallas said. “If they want that we simply suspend or abolish our system, this is not acceptable.”

The International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, is leading efforts to draw up a global emissions system. The EU can drop overseas airlines from its system if their home governments introduce a similar program.

Kallas also said the European Commission has no plans to add road transport to the emissions-trading system. The commission is instead focusing on tax and regulations to pare pollution from vehicles.

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