"France Drops Carbon Tax After Defeat"

"After his governing conservative party took a pounding in regional polls on Sunday, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has dropped a key environmental goal: setting up a carbon tax to limit the growth of emissions and spur the development of renewable fuels.

“We want decisions that are taken in common with other European countries, or else we will see our competition gap widen,” said François Fillon, the French prime minister, according to The Financial Times.

The idea of a carbon tax had been widely opposed by France’s business lobby, which argued that it would increase costs, as well as by members of the governing party, which opposed the idea of a new tax. A law was initially voted by Parliament last year but was censured by France’s top court, the Constitutional Council, because it was too weak on polluting industries.

The announcement has angered the government’s environmental minister, Chantal Jouanno, who said she was “desperate” that the government had backed down."

Jad Mouawad reports for Green Inc. in the New York Times March 23, 2010.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010