New green tax is on the way

Ecology minister announces possible ‘carbon tax’ and renews opposition to GM crops and shale gas

22 August 2013

A NEW TYPE OF green tax is to be reduced as a “climate energy contribution” and a way to reduce energy consumption in France.

Ecology Minister Philippe Martin announced what is widely seen as a “carbon tax” to huge applause at the Marseille summer conference of the EELV ecology party – although he gave no details on the scope or scale of the change.

Such a carbon tax has been a major demand of ecologists since it was initially proposed as part of the Grenelle environmental agreement in 2007.

A tax on fossil fuels was nearly introduced by the Sarkozy government in 2009 but the law was annulled by the Conseil Constitutionnel. It would have increased fuel prices by charging €17 per tonne of CO2 emissions.

Mr Martin said the decision had been taken by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and that there were talks taking place on the level of the tax and when and where it would be applied.

He was also able to announce that the 2014 budget for the Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie (ADEME) would match that of 2013 – a reversal of the budget cut that cost former minister Delphine Batho her job when she criticised the budget.

Mr Martin also announced his continuing opposition to the planting of GM crops in France and the exploration and exploitation of possible shale gas resources.

Photo: Urbanhearts Fotolia.com

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