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France Rejects Carbon Tax

emissions-2Two days before going into effect, France’s Constitutional Council rejected a tax on carbon emissions because of too many exemptions for major industrial polluters, reports the New York Times.

The council also said the bill, backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, threatened to make tax collection unfair, primarily raising the cost of fuel for vehicles and heating, reports the New York Times. The tax was set at 17 euros ($24) for each ton of carbon dioxide.

In particular, the council opposed the ruling that 93 percent of industrial emissions, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France’s top polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax, reports DW-World.

In response, the government said many of these industrial sectors, along with truckers, farmers and fishing fleets, already faced European Union curbs and the tax would put them at a competitive disadvantage, reports Reuters.

Sarkozy’s ruling conservative party said the bill would be amended so it could be passed into law next year, reports the New York Times.

Reuters reports that the Ministers plan to deliver a revised text on Jan. 20 but it could take weeks to get the law back through parliament.

Members of the French Green party said the defeat would force the government to create a bill that would be more effective in helping France cut its emissions, according to the New York Times.

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