The government shelved the proposed carbon tax, one of Mr Sarkozy\’s key reforms, a day after the president replaced a top minister in a reshuffle after his UMP party\’s defeat by Left-wing rivals in regional elections.
Good, because they don\’t need this tax at all.
The plan would have made France the first big economy to tax harmful carbon emissions, aiming to encourage French consumers to stop wasting energy. But business lobbies feared it would penalise French industry.
Mr Fillon said the tax would have to work at a European level so as \”not to harm the competitiveness of French companies,\” according several UMP deputies who met with him in parliament.
Quite why anyone thinks that French companies only compete with those in the EU I\’m not sure. But anyway, that \”first big economy\” part is bollocks, pure and simple.
We in the UK have a number of carbon taxes, fuel duty, APD and so on. But much more than that all EU countries have the functional equivalent of a carbon tax in the cap and trade system known as the EUTS. And you don\’t need to have both cap and trade and a carbon tax. You need only one or the other.
And, as Richard Tol never tires of pointing out, the current EUTS price of 15-20 euros per tonne is about the right price for carbon emissions anyway. All that really needs to be done is to auction off rather than give those permits and we\’re done.
No, really, that would be problem solved.