February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 10, OCTOBER 1991
EC CARBON TAX
After several months of struggling over how to
implement its pledge to stabilize CO2 emissions by the year 2000, the European
Community issued a draft plan on September 25, 1991, for discussion by its
member nations. The draft abandons individual national targets for emission
reductions, but proposes a highly controversial tax to be based partly on carbon
emissions and partly on energy use, in a manner yet to be settled. The tax is
intended to be "revenue neutral," with compensation by tax incentives
and reductions in other taxes on businesses and individuals. By the year 2000,
one version of the tax is expected to raise the price of coal by 61 percent, of
oil by 21 percent and of gas by 31 percent. To reduce the impact on
competitiveness, the current proposal excludes energy-intensive industries
involved in extensive international trade.
For discussion of the tax proposal and reactions to it see Global
Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Oct. 4, 1991; see also New Scientist,
p. 13, Oct. 5, p. 11, Sep. 28 (editorial), and p. 15, Sep. 21. A report issued
by the Swedish Environmental Council, Economic Instruments for Reducing
Western European Carbon Dioxide Emissions, is discussed in Intl.
Environ. Rptr., pp. 435-436, Aug. 14.
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