France to Introduce Carbon Tax

September 14, 2009 Taxation in EUTaxation in France  No comments

An ambitious shift in taxation has been announced in France, loading levies on pollution while alleviating pressure in other taxation areas.

Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, revealed plans on the 10th of September at a speech made in Culoz, for the introduction of a Carbon Tax in France. The Carbon Tax bill, which is slated to come into effect on the 1st of January 2010, will see an €17 levy imposed on each tone of carbon dioxide produced. The bill covers carbon emissions from petrol, gas and coal. No levies will be installed in electricity usage, as only 20% of France’s power production comes from non nuclear or renewable sources. Additionally, electricity produced in French power stations is already covered a Europe spanning carbon quota system.

If passed through parliament, France’s Carbon Tax will be the largest of its kind imposed in the world, if judged by economic size. Current intentions are to include the Carbon Tax in France’s 2010 Finance Bill, and it will be debated by Parliament on the 30th of September.

In his speech, Nicolas Sarkozy declared that “It is time to create green taxation,” and “We cannot keep on taxing labour, taxing capital and ignore taxes on pollution.” He went on to say that this tax is the first step in a fiscal revolution for France.

In an assurance to french tax payers, Nicolas Sarkozy emphasized that this tax will not see an increase in governmental revenue. Households will receive breaks in their own tax liability to balance that imposed by the Carbon Tax, leaving the overall tax debt equal and merely shifting its weight to a more environmentally conscious level.

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