The First Carbon Trade War?

The European Union-or at least its feisty climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard-seems determined to take on the whole world by demanding that all airlines pay a carbon tribute for the privilege of crossing EU airspace and landing at EU airports. The tax, which will start being collected in 2013, would be levied not just on the miles flown over EU territory but for the entire length of the trip-thus, Indian or Korean airlines that traverse only a few hundred miles over the EU when traveling from Mumbai or Seoul would have to fork over taxes based on the entire trek of several thousand miles. All told, it is estimated that the EU would have taken in $1.2 billion from all airlines in 2012 had the new system been in place, a toll that rises to $3.6 billion by 2020. A sweet deal for EU coffers. 

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