US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Wednesday called on the European Union to abandon its controversial carbon tax on airlines, saying the policy aimed at combatting global warming was "lousy."
"We think this is a lousy policy, a lousy law that they passed," LaHood told a Senate committee on commerce and transportation.
"We strongly urge the EU to cease application" of the law "in order to help accelerate our effort to forge a global solution," he said.
The carbon tax imposed on airlines by the European Union came into effect on January 1, but carriers will begin receiving bills only in 2013 after this year's carbon emissions have been assessed.
More than two dozen countries including China, Russia and the United States have opposed the EU move, saying it violates international law.
But the EU has said the tax will help it achieve a goal of cutting carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and has insisted it will not back down on the plan.
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