A French government panel has recommended the imposition of a carbon tax on transport and heating fuel as soon as 2010. The panel, headed by former Prime Minister Michel Rocard, recommended last month that the tax be imposed on all citizens “without exception and exemption”. A commitment to the carbon tax was one of the victories of the 2007 Grenelle on the Environment; however it has already generated an outcry from trade unions and consumer associations.
Under the recommendations, France would bill 32 euros for every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted in 2010, rising to 100 euros per tonne in 2030. This compares with the current 14 euros per ton on the European carbon emissions market. In practice the levy would add 7 centimes extra per litre of petrol, and represent an increase in 10%-15% in heating costs for households. According to the Ademe, the carbon tax would generate an extra charge of 160 euros per household per year.
Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Britain have already adopted similar measures. In Sweden, a carbon tax was introduced in 1991 and the price of carbon currently stands at 97 euros per ton. The proposed French carbon tax would generate an estimated 8 billion euros in government revenue per year, some of which would be used to offset the price rises for the most vulnerable French households and businesses.
The French climate contribution is separate from a proposal floated by President Nicholas Sarkozy in March for a carbon tax on imports from countries which have lower environmental standards than France.
via Les Echos and Mediapart