February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 11, NOVEMBER 1991
EC ENERGY TAX
The debate continues over the energy or carbon tax
proposed in September 1991 by the European Community, as a means of stabilizing
CO2 emissions by the year 2000 when the tax would reach $10 on a barrel of oil.
Critics include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which
warned of heavier taxes overall for consumers, even though the proposal requires
that other levies be lowered so that the energy tax is revenue-neutral. Industry
groups like the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederation of Europe are
concerned the tax would drive businesses out of the EC countries. Supporters see
approval of the tax as a way to pressure the U.S. and Japan to limit CO2
emissions, while opponents feel the EC should not go ahead with it until those
two countries commit to similar restrictions.
The plan received a boost when it won unanimous approval by the EC
environment ministers at an October 12 meeting, but EC energy ministers failed
to reach agreement at an October 29 meeting. They will have an opportunity to
debate the issue at a joint meeting on December 10.
See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 563-564, Oct. 23, 1991, and pp.
533-535 and 544, Oct. 9; Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 3, Nov. 1 and
p. 3, Oct. 18; Nature, p. 375, Oct. 3.
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