Fragile deal on EC carbon tax leaves UK out in the cold

Agreement on the proposed EC carbon/energy tax drew closer on 23 April when eleven of the 12 Member States accepted in principle that a tax is needed to help the Community reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. The UK was the only dissenter, but the compromise which made the agreement possible, based on tax exemptions for countries with CO2 emissions per head lower than the EC average, is a fragile one. The EC has also yet to decide whether the new energy taxes proposed in the USA are high enough to meet its condition that other industrialised nations must take similar action before it goes ahead with its own tax.

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