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BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - European politicians backed an emergency plan to rescue the world's biggest carbon market from collapse on Tuesday but hesitated to kick off the drafting of legislation, sending prices down by as much as 20 percent.

The carbon market, meant to be a pillar of the European Union's climate policy, has fallen to a series of record low prices because of a huge surplus of allowances, mostly generated by recession in the euro zone.

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