Thursday, December 10, 2009

Impôt de Carbone

While England is considering a personal cap-and-trade system, France just passed a national carbon tax. It is set at 17 euro per metric tonne, or $22.60 per normally spelled ton, which is fairly similar to the $20/t that's bandied about a lot in the US. "The tax will be introduced next year and will cover the use of oil, gas and coal," but not electricity, because 80% of Frances power comes from nuclear power plants.

There's always talk that the tax is more efficient than trading permits, but this one still gets complicated: it will apply to households as well as enterprises, but not to the heavy industries and power firms included in the EU's emissions trading scheme. (Okay, I guess that's because there's already a trading system in place that it has to operate with in parallel.)

"Critics say it is just a ploy to boost ailing state finances," but French President Sarkozy claims that all money gathered will be re-issued in the form of income tax refunds and other reductions, so that a "typical" household will see no change in finances.

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