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French Carbon Tax Dead

France's highest court dealt an 'unexpected and embarrassing blow' to French President Nicolas Sarkozy by ruling his carbon tax, set to take effect on New Year's, unconstitutional on Dec. 30.

Sarkozy had made the carbon tax one of his most important goals as it would place France at the forefront in fighting climate change. The court ruling shows the importance of making carbon taxes apply to all sectors of society, especially the industry.

"The large number of exemptions from the carbon tax runs counter to the goal of fighting climate change and violates the equality enjoyed by all in terms of public charges," said the constitutional council.

...While green campaigners warned the tax was not high enough to be effective, the Socialists and consumer groups claimed it would lead to an unfair situation in which certain people, such as car-dependant households in isolated areas, would be hit harder than the real culprits.

The ruling of the constitutional council appeared to support those criticisms. It said that more than 1,000 of France's biggest polluters could have been exempted from the charges, and that 93% of industrial emissions would not have been taxed."

From Guardian, Sept. 10, 2009:
"Nicolas Sarkozy today vowed to lead the fight to "save the human race" from global warming, launching a carbon tax to encourage French families and industry to cut their use of fossil fuels.

From 2010, France will become the biggest European economy to levy a carbon tax, following other successful schemes introduced by Nordic countries in the 1990s."

Thanks to Jenesse Miller

Full Story: Humiliation for green convert Sarkozy as carbon tax ruled unconstitutional

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