Lords told of problems facing EC carbon tax

The European Commission is rethinking its plans for an energy tax equivalent to $10 per barrel of oil to combat global warming, a House of Lords inquiry was told in February. And, as the difficulties of introducing an EC-wide tax which will be effective in reducing carbon dioxide emissions become increasingly clear, there is now considerable doubt whether Brussels will be able to prepare a legislative proposal for the tax before the global environmental summit in June.

The so-called "carbon tax" was one element of a proposed EC strategy on global warming issued by the Commission last autumn (ENDS Report 200, p 34). In December, the EC Council of Ministers gave the Commission the go-ahead to work up detailed proposals for the tax.

A commitment by the EC to introduce such a tax is generally regarded as essential if it is to persuade the USA, Japan and other industrialised countries to take similar action

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