France faces internal fight over carbon tax
France should aim to introduce a tex on carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 to help fight global climate change, a panel advising the government said on Tuesday.
France should aim to introduce a tax on carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 to help fight global climate change, a panel advising the government said on Tuesday.
The plan has already drawn fire from intensive fuel users such as farmers and fishermen, and the government pledged to offset any tax with cuts elsewhere while the head of the panel indicated the scheme might have to be delayed.
"Carbon dioxide emissions are a threat to life on the planet ... among the many necessary responses, a significant tax on carbon dioxide emissions is one the most pertinent and efficient," the panel concluded.
France is aiming to divide its greenhouse gas emissions by four by 2050.
Under the carbon tax plan, France would bill 32 euros ($46) for every ton of carbon dioxide emitted in 2010 and lift the levy progressively to 100 euros per ton by 2030.
This would add between 7 and 8 cents to the cost of a liter of petrol.
The tax will affect all sectors that are not part of existing emissions trading programs.
The report is expected to provide the basis for legislation, due to be debated after parliament's summer break. It will face intense discussion as details are thrashed out.
"This is the beginning of a wider process of reflection and consultation," Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said after the report was presented.
While most politicians agree emissions must be cut to fight global warming, a key part of the debate is on how to compensate poorer households, workers in certain sectors and those who need to drive because they work at night or live in rural areas.
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