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EU cap-and-trade system suffers blow

Europe’s fight against climate change was dealt a setback on Tuesday, when EU lawmakers voted against a proposal that would have made it more expensive for utilities and other businesses to burn fossil fuels.
The European Commission wanted to make companies pay more for each ton of carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere — activity that scientists say contributes to climate change. The European Parliament rejected the proposal by 334 to 315, with 63 abstentions.
Businesses applauded the decision which spares them facing increasing costs for pollution permits, but environmental groups decried it as a fatal vote that “undermines Europe’s credibility in fighting climate change.”
The European Union cap-and-trade system — the world’s biggest — was introduced in 2005 in the hope of encouraging industries to reduce emissions and invest in greener technologies.
Seattlepi, April 16, 2013