Sunday

23rd Sep 2018

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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."

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

The justice commissioner says the accommodation-rental website will better inform users about prices, and about the legal status of their 'hosts'. Facebook, however, could face sanctions if it doesn't comply with EU rules.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

The justice commissioner says the accommodation-rental website will better inform users about prices, and about the legal status of their 'hosts'. Facebook, however, could face sanctions if it doesn't comply with EU rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us