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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d93may94

Debate over the proposed European Community carbon/energy tax has been heating up recently, fueled in part by the Clinton Administration's tax proposal (see next item). Although EC member countries remain divided over the need for a uniform tax to stabilize CO2 emissions, some recent EC studies show not only that the tax is necessary, but it may not alone be sufficient to stabilize CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. For extensive analysis of the situation see "March Events Mark Beginning of Critical Period for EC Tax," Energy, Econ. & Clim. Change, pp. 2-5, Mar. 1993

At a March meeting of EC environment ministers, Britain opposed the tax proposal and was unwilling to lower its own stabilization target to compensate for emission increases in other (less developed) EC countries, creating another serious roadblock to the EC tax proposal. The week before that meeting, Britain's finance minister Norman Lamont proposed that his country should apply its 17.5-percent value-added tax to domestic energy use, and increase the tax on petroleum-based road fuels. (See "VAT on Fuel is `Imperfect' Way to Cut Carbon," J. Webb, New Scientist, p. 6, Mar. 27 1993, which discusses several views on the proposal.)

Earlier this year, Britain's opposition Labor Party launched a national energy-efficiency program linking reductions in CO2 emissions with long-term job creation (Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 98, Feb. 10).

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