France: Political Rancor and Legal Obstacles Force Sarkozy to Pull Plug on Carbon Tax
NY Times reports that after months of political rancor and legal obstacles, the French government on Tuesday shelved its plan to introduce a tax on carbon emissions that had been a cornerstone of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s enviromental policy.
Ministers and members of the governing UMP party said the tax would put French companies at a disadvantage to their European neighbors, most of whom do not pay anything similar.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister François Fillon said the country’s environmental policy needed to be “better coordinated with the European Union,” particularly so that French companies do not lose ground against their German counterparts.
Other European countries — notably Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Finland — have already implemented carbon taxes, but other countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, would probably be reluctant to go along. Britain and Poland are generally opposed to any tax harmonization at the European level.