EU parliament tightens airline emissions rules

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STRASBOURG, France, Nov 13 (Reuters) All airlines should join the European Union's emissions trading system in 2011 and face tighter pollution caps than first proposed, the European Parliament voted today.

Lawmakers voted in favour of a bill that would include all flights entering and exiting the 27-nation bloc in the emissions scheme at the same time.

The executive European Commission originally proposed intra-EU flights should join the scheme in 2011 and all international flights from 2012.

The trading scheme is the EU's key instrument to fight global warming. It sets limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that industry may emit. Companies buy or sell permits based on whether they overshoot or undershoot their targets.

Lawmakers voted to increase the amount of permits that airlines must buy upfront at auction to 25 per cent from 2011 and said the sector's cap should be set at 90 per cent of average emissions from the period 2004-2006, tighter than the 100 per cent proposed by Brussels.

The plan must now go to EU governments for potential changes and approval.

REUTERS SKB BD1755

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