Temporary setback for EC's strategy on CO2

The European Commission's strategy to stabilise the EC's carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels by 2000 lay in tatters at the end of May. Its proposals for a carbon/energy tax have been made conditional on action by other industrialised states which is unlikely to be forthcoming from the USA and possibly Japan in the near future. And the Commission's earlier plans for promoting energy efficiency and the renewables were drastically scaled down during in-fighting over the tax proposals.

The retreat from the ambitious strategy outlined last September is the product of tensions within the Commission itself and fierce industrial lobbying against the tax proposals (ENDS Report 207, pp 14-16 ). It was compounded by the Commission's failure to produce a draft Directive on the carbon/ energy tax in time

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