Sarkozy’s challenge now is to punch his proposals through the French Parliament in time to be included in next year’s budget.
A plan by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to slap a “carbon tax” on all forms of energy except electricity has met both popular resistance and activist snubbing. Two-thirds of French voters oppose such a tax, and environmentalists have chimed in to condemn it as halfhearted and wimpy.
Climate campaigners say that while the tax may be a step in the right direction, refunds and loopholes would keep it from having a real impact on energy use. J.C.
A “carbon” tax on transport, homes and factories, intended to make France a “green” model for other large economies, was unveiled yesterday by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
But the convoluted proposals, including mechanisms to refund most of the new energy levies through tax breaks and “green cheques”, were condemned by critics as half-hearted and a bureaucratic nightmare.
President Sarkozy insisted, however, that the carbon tax or “climate contribution” would put France on track to fulfill its promise to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to a quarter of their present levels in the next 40 years. In theory, the taxes will grow steeper in the years ahead but the proposals are already contested by two-thirds of French voters and by many politicians on the left and within the President’s own centre-right party.