11/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Europe Forcing Airlines To Buy Emissions Permits

European Union governments gave formal approval Friday to a potentially costly system of capping greenhouse gases from any airline flying into or out of the trade bloc -- just as the airline industry reported new evidence of the impact of a worsening economy.

Airline chiefs immediately criticized the decision, saying it would cost the industry at least 3.5 billion euros ($4.4 billion) each year to comply. The Europeans are "acting in a bubble -- even in the middle of a global economic crisis," said Giovanni Bisignani, the director general of the International Air Transport Association.

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