The EU has caved in to another powerful industry. EU ministers have finally agreed to impose carbon emissions quotas on airlines in an attempt to fight climate change.

However, the start date for the EU emissions trading scheme will be delayed to 2012, a year later than MEPs were asking for. The scheme also faces legal action from the United States that opposes the idea (no surprises there really).

But Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, said that aviation aviation emissions had doubled since 1990 and were predicted to double again by 2020.

Under the trading system, the EU limits the amount of carbon dioxide that industry is allowed to emit. But once again climate campaigners have complained that the agreement does not go far enough.

Tomas Wyns of Climate Action Network Europe said that the ministers had failed to implement ambitious targets and were threatening the EU’s credibility and leadership in international climate change negotiations.