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BRUSSELS — 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
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
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.