Battle lines sharpen on carbon tax as EC climate policy advances

The shape of the EC's strategy to combat global warming became a little clearer after the Environment Council on 22-23 March agreed two measures on ratification of the UN Convention on Climate Change and a mechanism to monitor Member States' progress in controlling emissions of greenhouse gases. But the meeting sharpened disagreements about the proposed EC carbon/energy tax, and imposed strict limits on the Community's powers to influence national measures on greenhouse gases. Ministers finally reached agreement on the Regulation on eco-auditing.

Denmark's Environment Minister, Svend Auken, signalled earlier this year that climate change would be a priority during his Presidency of the Environment Council to the end of June, and the issue dominated the March Council. It is also expected to do so at a joint meeting of Energy and Environment Ministers in May and the Environment Council in June.

One of the measures before the meeting on 22-23 March was a Decision to oblige Mem

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