LONDON, March 19 The European Parliament's
environment committee voted on Wednesday to reject a deal to
exempt long-haul flights from paying for carbon emissions until
the end of 2016, aiming to prevent the European Union from
bowing to international pressure.
The European Parliament's 71-member Environment Committee
voted in Brussels against a deal brokered by EU diplomats
earlier this month to extend a so-called "stop the clock"
measure exempting intercontinental flights from regulation under
the bloc's Emissions Trading System (ETS).
The vote of the cross-party body is a preliminary indication
of whether the proposal can win enough support in the full
766-strong EU Parliament in early April, a step required before
it can become law.
Failure to get final agreement on the compromise before the
end of April would be likely to reignite tensions with Europe's
major trading partners, such as China and the United States, and
risk a trade war.
But environmentalists are pinning their hopes on a failure,
which would mean that an existing law would automatically apply,
requiring all flights using EU airports to pay for the entirety
of their emissions.
(Reporting by Ben Garside; Editing by Mark Potter)