EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said Wednesday Brussels was not willing to completely give up its aviation carbon tax for flights starting and ending on the 28-member bloc's territory.
She proposed the EU offer a concession to international airlines by making them liable for their pollution footprint only for emissions generated over EU territory rather than for the harmful gases generated during the whole flight.
Earlier this month, the EU convinced the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that it should seek a global agreement by 2016 on a taxation system for airline emissions to be launched in 2020.
But Brussels made it clear on Wednesday it did not intend to remain idle in the meantime. "The aviation sector has to contribute to curbing emissions as the latter are increasing fast, doubling since 1990," Hedegaard said in a statement.
The commissioner conceded that her new proposal foresaw exemptions for flights to and from developing countries emitting less than 1 percent of global aviation emissions.
The new measure has to be approved by the EU's government and parliament. If both play along, it would apply from January 1, 2014.
"With our proposal, Europe is taking the responsibility to reduce emissions within its own airspace until the global measure begins," Hedegaard concluded.
hg/ipj (dpa, AFP)