EU seeks delay on emissions charges


The European Commission said Monday that it would seek to delay a plan to charge foreign airlines for greenhouse gas emissions for one year, potentially removing one of the most contentious issues clouding trade relations with China, India and the United States.

The system, which requires airlines using an airport in Europe to obtain or buy permits corresponding to the amount of gases they emit, had generated intense opposition among foreign governments. They accused the European Union of violating their sovereignty and unfairly raising the costs paid by airlines from developing countries by imposing its environmental standards on the world.

Europe had insisted the law was necessary because of a failure to control pollution from air traffic, which represents about 3 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and is growing much faster than efforts to cut them.