France moves to bring in carbon tax by 2011

Jun 10, 2009
Greenpeace activists burn a symbol of carbon dioxide
Greenpeace activists burn a symbol of carbon dioxide in November 2008. The French government on Wednesday kickstarted plans for a so-called carbon tax on energy-hungry products, to be rolled out by 2011 as part of France's efforts to slash global warming emissions.

The French government on Wednesday kickstarted plans for a so-called carbon tax on energy-hungry products, to be rolled out by 2011 as part of France's efforts to slash global warming emissions.

Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo unveiled a white paper on the new Climate-Energy Contribution, to be posted online for public comment before an experts' panel gathers on July 2-3 to hammer out the details.

Initially announced after a nationwide environment conference in late 2007, the new tax aims to steer French consumers and manufacturers towards environmentally-friendly goods and services.

Experts are to decide how much the levy should be, which products should be covered, and what taxes can be cut to offset it in line with a government pledge not to increase the overall tax burden.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government has said it hopes to shift part of French taxes from labour towards polluting goods, but consumer groups have warned against penalising families already feeling the pinch of recession.

Environmental issues have been thrust back into the spotlight following the surprise showing by greens Europe-Ecologie, who picked up 16 percent in last weekend's European elections, just behind France's main opposition Socialists.

The is now expected to be rolled out in 2011, a year later than initially envisaged, Borloo said.

Eventually the government would hope to extend the new tax to all goods and services, as and when an international standard emerges for measuring carbon footprint.

The French climate contribution is separate from a proposal floated by Sarkozy in March for a carbon tax on imports from countries which have lower environmental standards than France.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Beijing shuts large coal power plant to curb smog

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Opposition grows to U.S. phone-tax hike

Dec 06, 2005

A Washington group battling a proposed hike in the Universal Service Fund telephone tax says complaints from irate citizens are pouring into the capital.

Poll: Gas tax increase might fly

Feb 28, 2006

A New York Times/CBS News poll suggests Americans might OK a gasoline tax hike if it reduced global warming or lessened U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Recommended for you

The geography of the global electronic waste burden

5 hours ago

As local and national governments struggle to deal with ever-growing piles of electronic waste (or "e-waste"), scientists are now refining the picture of just how much there is and where it really ends up. Published in the ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Arkaleus
not rated yet Jun 15, 2009
And what, exactly, will the French government do with the money from this new taxation? Bury in a carbon sink? Use it for a sunshade? Or will it find its way into corrupt global warming scam projects and offshore accounts?

Good luck, France, you've been hornswaggled.