Europe's aviation emissions backdown

Europe, in the face of intense international pressure, has retreated from forcing airlines to pay for carbon emissions when flying in or out of the bloc. It hopes the UN can broker an international deal, but that seems optimistic.

The European Commission's retreat from forcing airlines to pay for carbon emissions when flying in or out of the bloc puts huge faith in action by the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The decision also brings risks of litigation by European operators.

It made sense to look for a compromise after China and India said they would not comply with a European Union emissions trading scheme.

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