France Drops Carbon Tax Plans After Sarkozy’s Party Gets Clobbered

March 23, 2010 | Jesse Jenkins,

After the governing conservative party of French President Nicolas Sarkozy got clobbered in regional elections this week, France's proposed carbon tax is going the way of the Canadian Liberal Party's 'green shift' carbon tax proposal and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (a cap and trade plan), according to the NYTimes' Green Inc. blog:

After his governing conservative party took a pounding in regional polls on Sunday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has dropped a key environmental goal: setting up a carbon tax to limit the growth of carbon emissions and spur the development of renewable fuels.

"We want decisions that are taken in common with other European countries, or else we will see our competition gap widen," said François Fillon, the French Prime Minister, according to The Financial Times.

The idea of a carbon tax had been widely opposed by France's business lobby, which argued that it would increase costs, as well as by members of the governing party which opposed the idea of a new tax. A law was initially voted by parliament last year but was censured by France's top court, the Constitutional Council because it was too weak on polluting industries.