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EU lawmakers back airline emission charge freeze

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February 26, 2013 10:41 AM EST | AP


BRUSSELS — European lawmakers are backing a proposal to freeze charges on carbon emissions for intercontinental flights, in a move that helps prevent a global trade dispute.

The EU Parliament's Environmental Committee on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to exclude all flights travelling to or from countries outside the European Union from the carbon tax for a year pending an international agreement.

It said the suspension could only be prolonged if there is "clear and sufficient" progress at the International Civil Aviation Organisation to agree worldwide measures to tackle carbon dioxide emissions that are blamed for global warming.

Airlines operating within the EU must buy pollution permits, but the planned inclusion of foreign airlines flying into or out of the 27-nation bloc drew criticism from the United States and China.