Sunday

25th Jun 2017

Paris suggests EU tax on imports from non-Kyoto states

  • Paris is urging Brussels to consider EU levies for imports from non-Kyoto countries (Photo: EUobserver)

France has thrown its support behind a European Commission idea to tax environment polluters and also urged Brussels to consider EU levies for imports from non-Kyoto countries, such as the US and Australia.

"We need to profoundly revise all of our taxes... to tax pollution more, including fossil fuels, and to tax labour less," French president Nicolas Sarkozy told an environment forum representing government, industry and the green lobby on Thursday (25 October), according to AFP agency.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

His speech came at the final session of the expert platform which had debated climate change issues for the past four months.

Mr Sarkozy argued that Europe should "examine the option of taxing products imported from countries that do not respect the Kyoto Protocol."

He urged European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, present at the speakers' podium, to discuss in the next six months the implications of "unfair competition" by firms outside the EU which do not have to abide by strict European standards on CO2 emissions.

The United States and Australia are the two leading developed nations that have refused to sign the Kyoto protocol, the international agreement assigning mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 172 signatory nations.

Washington did sign the treaty in 2001 but abandoned it under George Bush's administration, with Australia following suit although the current opposition tipped to win the next elections is in favour of signing up.

Waiting for Bali

For his part, Mr Barroso told the French environment forum that Brussels expects other world players to join Europe's efforts in fighting against global warming.

He stressed that an upcoming UN conference in Bali in December is crucial in this regard, adding "It is Europe that gives the impetus. It must continue the same way, to set the example and take the initiative."

But he also confirmed that the commission will only table concrete climate proposals - on fresh emissions caps and mandatory renewable energy targets - in January. The proposals had been expected early December.

EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs earlier told EUobserver the delay of the package is due to difficulty in getting member states to agree on how they should share the burden of the EU's goal to have 20 percent of the bloc's energy produced by renewable sources by 2020.

But according to European Voice, the Brussels-based weekly, the delay was also ordered by Mr Barroso as he "wanted to wait until after Bali".

At the Bali conference, scheduled for 3 to 14 December, 180 countries will discuss climate change and a possible successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Mr Barroso told the Paris audience on Thursday that the EU would commit itself to a further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions after 2012 - by 30 instead of 20 percent - "if the other industrialised countries follow."

"We need to get to the right track in Bali to launch world negotiations and prolong Kyoto's dynamics. The political will to take up the climate challenge is there... But we still have some way to go in order to have the different points of view converge."

Row between EU ministers halts e-book tax rate

A bill to reduce VAT rates on e-books and e-publications has become the latest victim of a row between the Czech Republic and its partners over its own plan to collect VAT.

Focus

EU and China move to fill US void

At a summit in Brussels, EU and Chinese leaders will attempt to deepen ties on trade and climate as US president Trump plans to pull out of the Paris climate deal.

Italy reaches EU deal on failing bank

After months of negotiations, the European Commission and Italy agreed on the terms of rescue for Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, including job cuts, salary caps and private sector involvement in the bailout.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit