Thursday

25th Aug 2016

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."

News in Brief

  1. Switzerland sees increase in migrants from Italy
  2. Norway to build Arctic border fence
  3. Brexit leader Farage addresses Trump rally
  4. Finland holds 'IS fighter' over 2014 Iraq mass killing
  5. Commission allows Portuguese bank recapitalisation
  6. Ex-commissioner: my rules on emissions are not vague
  7. Leading Danish MEP steps down from post
  8. US cooperating with Turkey on Gulen extradition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  2. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  3. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  4. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  5. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  6. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  7. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  8. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  9. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  10. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  11. GoogleA Little Bird Told us to Start Tweeting About Google’s Work Across Europe. Learn More @GoogleBrussels
  12. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?

Latest News

  1. Let's fix EU copyright law, for innovation and creativity online
  2. French government tries to defuse burkini row
  3. EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?
  4. US slams EU competition policies
  5. French diesel committee 'did not cover up for Renault'
  6. EU backs Greek ex-data chief over criminal charges
  7. EU must step up migrant relocation, say Italy and Greece
  8. Merkel seeks post-Brexit vision on EU tour