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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d91nov98

The debate continues over the energy or carbon tax proposed in September 1991 by the European Community, as a means of stabilizing CO2 emissions by the year 2000 when the tax would reach $10 on a barrel of oil. Critics include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which warned of heavier taxes overall for consumers, even though the proposal requires that other levies be lowered so that the energy tax is revenue-neutral. Industry groups like the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederation of Europe are concerned the tax would drive businesses out of the EC countries. Supporters see approval of the tax as a way to pressure the U.S. and Japan to limit CO2 emissions, while opponents feel the EC should not go ahead with it until those two countries commit to similar restrictions.

The plan received a boost when it won unanimous approval by the EC environment ministers at an October 12 meeting, but EC energy ministers failed to reach agreement at an October 29 meeting. They will have an opportunity to debate the issue at a joint meeting on December 10.

See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 563-564, Oct. 23, 1991, and pp. 533-535 and 544, Oct. 9; Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 3, Nov. 1 and p. 3, Oct. 18; Nature, p. 375, Oct. 3.

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