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Italy And France Urge Carbon Import Tax

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

19 April 2010


France and Italy have demanded that the European Union (EU) consider the introduction of a carbon tax on imports from outside the EU, where countries do not comply with EU standards on environmental issues.

In a joint letter to Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the European Commission, President Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy stressed that: “It would be unacceptable if the ambitious efforts already agreed by the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions… were compromised by carbon leaking due to... insufficient action by certain third countries.”

The letter went on to say that the tax could be used to pressurize third world countries to adopt measures to reduce their carbon emissions. Any such tax must not be ‘protectionist’ and must respect World Trade Organization rules, the letter added.

The European Commission is due to report as early as June on carbon pollution by key industries and is expected to put forward some recommendations to combat carbon pollution. The irony is that the French government recently abandoned a plan to introduce a carbon tax in the country following a ruling that it was unconstitutional.

The French government’s view is that any new carbon tax would only be viable if it was adopted by all 27 EU member states.

TAGS: environment | tax | European Commission | India | law | China | carbon tax | France | Italy | trade | Europe

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