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Friday, 26 March 2010

France stalls on carbon tax plan

After nine months of discussions, the French government will delay implementing its controversial domestic tax on carbon emissions until it can secure an agreement with its European partners, effectively putting the project on hold for the immediate future. The decision was announced during a meeting with UMP party representatives on Tuesday 23 March, and is clearly politically motivated. In declaring the need to refer the plan to the European level, Prime Minister François Fillon put an end to nearly nine months of national discussions about a tax policy to reduce the use of fossil fuels. “All decisions relating to sustainable development must be analyzed with a view to their impact on our competitiveness. That goes for the carbon tax. We want decisions to be taken jointly with other European countries,” stated Mr Fillon in a statement released by the prime minister’s office. After a hostile reaction to the announcement, the prime minister added that the government would introduce the carbon tax and that he would push the European Commission for a swift harmonization of environmental taxes throughout the bloc. In order not to harm the competitiveness of French companies, it would appear that the prime minister has shelved the plan until more progress has been made at the European level.

Source: Euractiv