France announces carbon tax

Jeremy Hance
September 10, 2009

The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has announced that he will implement a carbon tax to help "save the human race" from global warming.

The tax of 17 Euros (about 25 dollars) per ton of carbon will be placed on the consumption of oil, gas, and coal, but not electricity. Eighty percent of France's electricity is delivered by nuclear power.

"We want to change behavior toward fossil energies," the French leader said in a speech in the city of Culoz in eastern France. "Changing behavior to help protect our environment is the aim of the carbon tax."

Many in France are critical of the plan, including the Socialist party which opposes Sarkozy who has stated the tax will hurt the poor. The proposition is also opposed by two thirds of French people according to recent polls. However some environment organizations, like Greenpeace France, say the tax is too low and should include electricity.

Heavy industries and power companies are exempt from the tax, since they are apart of the EU's carbon trading program.

Sweden has the highest carbon tax in Europe, charging 100 Euros (145 dollars) per ton of consumption, nearly six times Sarkozy's proposal.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (September 10, 2009).

France announces carbon tax .