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France Announces Green Tax Plan, â‚¬5,000 Bonus for Green Cars
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced plans to impose a new fuel tax next year on oil, gas and coal to encourage industry and households to cut energy consumption.Sarkozy set the new tax at €17 ($24.8) per ton of CO2, higher than the figure floated last week.
The plan makes France the biggest economy in Europe to impose such a tax, called the “carbon tax” in France, on households and businesses.
The tax, calculated according to the volume of CO2 produced by particular types of fuel, will apply to oil, gas and coal.
The carbon tax will be the same for households and businesses and will be paid by all users of fossil fuels. Specifically, it means a rise of 4.5 euro cents per liter of fuel oil and diesel and 4 euro cents per liter of petrol.
A notable exception will be electricity. Sarkozy said that with 80 percent of electricity produced in France coming from nuclear plants which have low emissions; it would make no sense to increase the price of power.
Finland was the first European country to impose a carbon tax, in 1990, followed a year later by Sweden and later Denmark.
French President also said the government will this month unveil a new clean cars program offering a €5,000 ($7,300) bonus to buyers who pick green models.
The program will enable carmakers to offer to French consumers within the next 16 months "the possibility of buying electric or hybrid vehicles at acceptable prices and to benefit from the super-bonus," he said.
Details of the plan that was first announced at the Paris Motor Show last October will be provided on September 23.
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