EC still divided over carbon/energy tax

Proposals to relieve the four poorest EC countries from immediate application of a carbon/energy tax were unveiled by the European Commission at the Environment Council on 5 October. They appear unlikely to break the deadlock, leaving Member States split down the middle over whether the Community should ratify the UN Convention on Climate Change without an agreement on the tax.

The carbon/energy tax is proving the most intractable issue ever to be tackled in the twenty-year history of the EC's environmental policy. The chances of it ever reaching the statute book receded in May when the UK decided that it had fundamental reservations about the proposal (ENDS Report 220, p 23 ).

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