France's Sarkozy urges carbon tax

Co2 emissions

In a highly anticipated speech, Sarkozy argued that a carbon tax was essential in the face of threats to the climate and the need to reduce France's dependence on oil. It's part of Sarkozy's push for a more prominent role in the global fight against climate change.

"It is time for France to profoundly adapt its taxation system and create real ecological taxation," Sarkozy said. The idea would be to tax energy derived from fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel fuel, coal and natural gas in order to discourage their use.
If Sarkozy succeeds, France would be the largest economy to impose a carbon tax, though other European countries including Sweden Denmark, Finland and Slovenia already tax household carbon dioxide emissions.

Among the French, however, surveys show around two-thirds of people oppose the measure. Businesses also expressed concern that the tax could hurt their competitiveness on the international market.

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