Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Carbon Tax Tossed Out

The Conseil Constitutionnel has annulled the carbon tax:

Dans une décision rendue mardi 29 décembre, le Conseil juge que la loi prévoit trop d'exonérations "contraires à l'objectif de lutte contre le réchauffement climatique et [qui] créent une rupture d'égalité devant les charges publiques". - (AFP)

Back to the drawing board. And maybe Sarko will think twice before giving lessons to Obama: the U.S. Congress isn't the only unpredictable institution in politics.

10 comments:

MYOS said...

Based on the AFP report, 93% industries were exempt????
So in effect only households - which I doubt are the greatest creators of carbon emissions - would have been the only ones forced to pay... and, getting their money back, hence having zero incentive to change actual behavior.
Sounds like it was a really poorly-conceived tax.
The Congress may not have passed such a law yet, but when it does, you bet it'll have some effect, at least...

Unknown said...

MYOS, Industries are covered by the EU emissions trading system. The carbon tax wasn't aimed at them.

kirkmc said...

Ha! On the news this evening on France 2, they were saying how people were rushing to fill their heating oil tanks, that for 1,000 liters of heating oil, the tax was EUR 54. I though, dang, we didn't fill ours, but now I'm glad we didn't. It was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1; this'll confuse all those who were supposed to charge it.

MYOS said...

Thanks Art - I didn't know there was a European-wide carbon-tax aimed specifically at industries. Exempting 93% of them did seem to make for an especially ineffectual tax, hence making it pointless. Does the European-wide carbon tax ONLY target indutries though, which would explain why only households would have been paying the French tax?
It still didn't seem like a very efficient tax, though.
Kirkmc, I saw the France2 report too and heard on Europe1 how some heating oil company was overbooked because so many people feared the tax and were filling up for a year or more -- as much as they could, essentially. Now, some happy employes will be able to go home at 12-noon on Thursday, as planned!

DavidinParis said...

Ineffectual or not, it's going to take water levels coming up to La Tour Montparnasse before such a law will be passed. By then, it will be too late.

It wasn't a great tax, but it was headed in the right direction. EU targets would take care of the rest? Hmm...

Unknown said...

The EU system is not a tax, it's a cap and trade system, and the price of carbon units is currently too low to be effective. In fact, Sarko's decision to lower the carbon tax to the ineffective level of 17 euros per ton was based on the current trading price of ETS (emissions trading system) shares. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme

MYOS said...

Interesting comment here:
http://jeanmarcelbouguereau.blogs.nouvelobs.com/archive/2009/12/30/taxe-carbone-cette-fois-le-macon-sarkozy-est-au-pied-du-mur.html

Now I understand what was planned - cap and trade for some, but no tax, and European-level; tax for others, nationalized.

Unknown said...

For a full account, see Eloi Laurent's excellent and comprehensive guest post:
http://artgoldhammer.blogspot.com/2009/10/carbon-tax-for-france-encore-un-effort.html

MYOS said...

Thanks!
Found that also in the conseil decision:
les quotas sont actuellement attribués à titre gratuit et que le régime des quotas payants n'entrera en vigueur qu'en 2013 et ce, progressivement jusqu'en 2027

James Conran said...

Another interesting comment on this decision here:

http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2009/12/31/limpot-carbone/