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France Set To Impose Carbon Tax

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced plans for a new carbon tax aimed at combating global warming.

The tax will be introduced next year and will cover the use of oil, gas and coal, he said.

The new tax will be set at 17 euros (£15) per ton of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2). It will be phased in gradually.

It will apply to households as well as enterprises, but not to the heavy industries and power firms included in the EU's emissions trading scheme.

Most electricity in France - excluded from the new carbon tax - is nuclear-generated.

Mr Sarkozy said revenues from the new tax would be ploughed back into taxpayers' pockets through cuts in other taxes and "green cheques".

The carbon tax plans have already encountered stiff opposition across the political spectrum.

France's Le Monde newspaper says the tax will cover 70% of the country's carbon emissions and bring in about 4.3bn euros (£3.8bn) of revenue annually.

Mr Sarkozy insists the new tax is all about persuading the French to change their habits and cut energy consumption, the BBC's Emma Jane Kirby reports from Paris.

Critics say it is just a ploy to boost ailing state finances.

Two-thirds of French voters say they are opposed to the new levy, fearing they will struggle to pay higher bills.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon had previously set the new tax rate at 14 euros per ton of CO2.

This will add just a tad over 100 euros to the average house heating bill.

It will add about 50 euro to your car fuel bill

Of course in time these taxes will only go one way and that is up.

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This will add just a tad over 100 euros to the average house heating bill.

Unless heated by electricity from nuclear station?

It will add about 50 euro to your car fuel bill

Unless powered by biodiesel? Also, LPG is still cheap so by switching to LPG one would escape paying over the odds

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This will add just a tad over 100 euros to the average house heating bill.

Not in a country that already generates most of its power by non-polluting means. But it'll incentivise frenchmen to reduce pollution further.

It will add about 50 euro to your car fuel bill

Unless it persuade you to use your car less. If it shifts the economics enough to make your local school or shop viable (i.e. you and your neighbours all reduce driving), you could stand to save a great deal more than that.

And of course, whatever tax is taken on pollution doesn't have to be taken from your productive activity. More money for something non-polluting!

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Unless heated by electricity from nuclear station?

yes get around the carbon tax by paying 10p for electricity instead of 4p inc carbon tax for gas

Unless powered by biodiesel? Also, LPG is still cheap so by switching to LPG one would escape paying over the odds

LPG also has the tax and switching isn’t cheap to do nor is it a real alternative at this time. if it were people would be doing it today. and LPG gives less miles per kWh so that don’t help no one.

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Not in a country that already generates most of its power by non-polluting means. But it'll incentivise frenchmen to reduce pollution further.

That is a misconception, sure France has a lot of nuclear power stations but still burns 144 million tonnes of oil equivalent (minus their nuclear plants and hydro)

By comparison the UK burns 196 million tonnes of oil equivalent (minus our nuclear plants and hydro).

We both have a very similar population and I suppose you would expect the UK to burn more fuel as we have a colder climate for longer than the frogs.

Either way the French are only burning 25% less than we are. Hardly a lot more efficient.

edit:

If our politicians pulled their heads out of their arses and allowed the utilities to build a similar number of nuclear plants then we would have 110 million tonnes oil equivalent and be 25% more energy efficient than the French.

So we are more efficient than them on everything bar power stations.

Seems an easy way to meet our emissions targets. Would go 196 million tonnes oil to 110 million tonnes oil equivalent if we just went nuclear.

Edited by cells

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Good fun knocking the French I know. However they now own and run great chunks of our water/electricity supply industry and you are more likely to buy a French car, than a British one. We would also rely on them to produce our nukes.

Think the French will start to lead the field in carbon neutral/offset stategies. Indeed the French government plans to fund the production of carbon free cars (?) as we continue to play house price monopoly with each other.

Edited by SavingForAShed

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this will just create a black economy in dirty fuels, with unknown broader environmental consequences, and I'm sure, bad economic ones

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In other news, china brings online another 2 coal power stations.

These green taxes / laws only help stunt our economic growth, giving any country that doesnt abide by the same principles a huge competitive advantage.

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Of course what any sensible country would do is put a carbon tax on any goods that are shipped more x miles or made from carbon excessive production.

Tomatoes bought in home country no carbon tax. Tomatoes shipped in from outside country add 20% carbon tax.

Air passenger duty tax, but not on freight! Why?

Then at least the taxpayer could make a decsion as opposed to a vertically challenged politician arbitariliy deciding.

Buth then of course there is a lot of financial stimuli that save the world that has to be paid off.

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In other news, china brings online another 2 coal power stations.

These green taxes / laws only help stunt our economic growth, giving any country that doesnt abide by the same principles a huge competitive advantage.

Screw the Chinese. The Great British government won't miss an opportunity to save our souls through higher taxes - shoveling plenty of cash the way of their banking masters. There's no imaginary problem in the known universe that can't be solved, all through more taxation. We'll be fine, but the coal burning, tax dodging Chinese will surely fry or drown.

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Of course what any sensible country would do is put a carbon tax on any goods that are shipped more x miles or made from carbon excessive production.

Tomatoes bought in home country no carbon tax. Tomatoes shipped in from outside country add 20% carbon tax.

Air passenger duty tax, but not on freight! Why?

Then at least the taxpayer could make a decsion as opposed to a vertically challenged politician arbitariliy deciding.

Buth then of course there is a lot of financial stimuli that save the world that has to be paid off.

Any sensible muppet would see a scam where one exists.

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€17/t is just the start...you'll need over $80/t just to get anywhere near stopping +2 degrees c

If it becomes law it will mean France will adjust faster and find the transition less painful, because the transition is coming.

But what we really need are laws, not taxes. Cars need to be stopped from driving over 55mph, tyres must be pumped up - that is already a 25pc saving just there...building regulations must be tightened etc etc. We need to conserve energy and do it very quickly...

The gas pipeline industry also needs to repair/replace its compressors which leak huge volumes of gas, a rather big task with 1mn miles of pipelines...

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This tax which will shoot up over time and more so in the UK it is another death nail in our living standards.

But a good hedge to HPCers would be buy the smallest flat or house as needed as near as possible to work and play so to speak and more important where other people will want to live this should be a good hedge.

A small studio flat today may cost about £500 pa to be nice and warm but an old large detached house 3k or so assuming heating costs will double every 5 to 10 years and wages stay flat due to our jobs being exported to China which I assume wont impose such a tax.

Who wants to live in a cold house?

Who wants to pay £10 a gallon probably in 10 years?

People will want or need small houses or flats because of the above and reduce car use in the long term and smaller well located props will probably hold up better than the bigger ones so live or invest wisely.

Big cars loose their value to nothing very quickly compared to small cars big houses I expect to do the same to some degree.

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In other news, china brings online another 2 coal power stations.

These green taxes / laws only help stunt our economic growth, giving any country that doesnt abide by the same principles a huge competitive advantage.

Just ban the Chinese goods. Sorted.

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That is a misconception, sure France has a lot of nuclear power stations but still burns 144 million tonnes of oil equivalent (minus their nuclear plants and hydro)

By comparison the UK burns 196 million tonnes of oil equivalent (minus our nuclear plants and hydro).

We both have a very similar population and I suppose you would expect the UK to burn more fuel as we have a colder climate for longer than the frogs.

Either way the French are only burning 25% less than we are. Hardly a lot more efficient.

edit:

If our politicians pulled their heads out of their arses and allowed the utilities to build a similar number of nuclear plants then we would have 110 million tonnes oil equivalent and be 25% more energy efficient than the French.

So we are more efficient than them on everything bar power stations.

Seems an easy way to meet our emissions targets. Would go 196 million tonnes oil to 110 million tonnes oil equivalent if we just went nuclear.

This is very simplistic, firstly 25% is actually a huge reduction when looking at these kind of figures. The UK has smaller housing, and many houses are less thermally efficient, so it is wrong to say that the UK should produce more CO2 emissions because we have a colder climate. Down in the south of France, air conditioning is much more common than in the UK, so probably makes up for it. France is also just ahead of us in manufacturing, so probably needs a little more power for its factories. It is a larger country, so more transportation is likely.

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Guest sillybear2
Good fun knocking the French I know. However they now own and run great chunks of our water/electricity supply industry and you are more likely to buy a French car, than a British one. We would also rely on them to produce our nukes.

True, but they'd make the current flow the wrong way just for kicks.

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This is very simplistic, firstly 25% is actually a huge reduction when looking at these kind of figures. The UK has smaller housing, and many houses are less thermally efficient, so it is wrong to say that the UK should produce more CO2 emissions because we have a colder climate. Down in the south of France, air conditioning is much more common than in the UK, so probably makes up for it. France is also just ahead of us in manufacturing, so probably needs a little more power for its factories. It is a larger country, so more transportation is likely.

Percentages are percentages.

those who say if we all do a little bit it will add up to a lot are just silly.

If we all do a little bit, it will add up to a little bit!!!

Everything works on percentages small or large.

France is about 25% more carbon efficient per person than the uk. Well good for them but it is only 25%, which isn't a huge amount. Its not like 90% which would be noteworthy.

As for air-cooling in France offsetting uk heating, are you crazy?

Average house in the uk uses perhaps 30,000kWh for heating. No house in France uses that much electricity for cooling and again even if they do it comes from the nukes.

If the UK wanted to "go green£" the first easy-ish step is to do what the French have and build a grid with 80% nuclear. That would reduce our "carbon footprint" by nearly 50% and is actually achievable by 2025.

If that happened we would be one of the most efficient countries in Western Europe for energy CO2 per person.

We would then become a net exporter of gas and about neutral on coal.

Instead by the looks of it we are going to go gas heavy on electricity.

Edited by cells

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Living in France, I can tell you this tax is unpopular with the majority of people, even before they have to pay it.

However, the upside of such a tax is that many are now looking at alternate forms of energy. Solar panels and geothermic heating systems being the favourites. The govt and regions already give some grants to convert to solar etc, but I think they will make a big push to move a lot of the population towards these technologies in the next 10years. I'm seeing plenty of soalr installation vans on the streets and some fairly big companies are now opening offices in tech parks to push the R&D for the next generation.

To Cells : France might use only 25% less fuel as the UK, but it has a land mass that's nearly 2x the surface of the UK. And unlike the UK, have big urbain populations living in both the north and south of the country. National companies here have important transport costs to get their product to all corners of the country and use rail and waterways more than their UK counterparts, I'd imagine ?

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Living in France, I can tell you this tax is unpopular with the majority of people, even before they have to pay it.

However, the upside of such a tax is that many are now looking at alternate forms of energy. Solar panels and geothermic heating systems being the favourites. The govt and regions already give some grants to convert to solar etc, but I think they will make a big push to move a lot of the population towards these technologies in the next 10years. I'm seeing plenty of soalr installation vans on the streets and some fairly big companies are now opening offices in tech parks to push the R&D for the next generation.

To Cells : France might use only 25% less fuel as the UK, but it has a land mass that's nearly 2x the surface of the UK. And unlike the UK, have big urbain populations living in both the north and south of the country. National companies here have important transport costs to get their product to all corners of the country and use rail and waterways more than their UK counterparts, I'd imagine ?

So what if the land mass is bigger? The average distance for work to home is far more important and presumably that is similar in both nations.

Also moving products is very energy efficient. It takes about 1kWh of energy to move 100kg of goods 100 miles in a HGV. Trains and boats are even more energy efficient.

By comparison it takes 100 kWh to move one human in a car for the same distance!

The French do not use 25% less than the UK, they use 25% MORE!!

However their power stations produce a lot less CO2 so overall they use 25% less, but everything else other than power stations they do worse or use more energy.

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Living in France, I can tell you this tax is unpopular with the majority of people, even before they have to pay it.

Wait until it hits 100 euro a tonne, which it will do in the not too distant future.

I’m not 100% again a tax on energy but it should be on all forms of energy from nuclear to coal to gas to wind turbines and if implemented it should be offset by something else.

In the UK a gradual increase in energy tax with a decrease in VAT would be acceptable. At the end it would be a £250 a tonne carbon tax (or rather a tax on kWh) but no VAT.

That should also give us efficiency savings, as taxing energy would be easy to do as only a few places provide it. Taxing everyone VAT is a lot more difficult and costly.

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As for air-cooling in France offsetting uk heating, are you crazy?

Average house in the uk uses perhaps 30,000kWh for heating. No house in France uses that much electricity for cooling and again even if they do it comes from the nukes.

No, you misread what I stated. I stated that the combination of larger houses in France, air conditiong offsetting some heating, extra transport due to the size of the country and extra manufacturing probably means that they actually are as efficient as they claim.

You only ever talk about the virtues of nuclear power, perhaps you work for a VI in nuclear power? The fact of the matter is, we have other cheapr renewable sources of energy which we need to exhaust first, before worrying about nuclear power. If we were a landlocked country like Luxemburg with very few natural resources, Nuclear is probably a good idea. However the UK has an abundance of wind, tidal and in future wave power sources. They just need to be harnessed, the cost of all except tidal being as cheap as or cheaper than nuclear.

Edited by BalancedBear

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Wait until it hits 100 euro a tonne, which it will do in the not too distant future.

I’m not 100% again a tax on energy but it should be on all forms of energy from nuclear to coal to gas to wind turbines and if implemented it should be offset by something else.

In the UK a gradual increase in energy tax with a decrease in VAT would be acceptable. At the end it would be a £250 a tonne carbon tax (or rather a tax on kWh) but no VAT.

That should also give us efficiency savings, as taxing energy would be easy to do as only a few places provide it. Taxing everyone VAT is a lot more difficult and costly.

If the whole idea is to discourage CO2 production, why would it be a good idea to tax all forms of energy in the same way? If the idea is to simply tax energy to encourage people to use less, the cheapest forms of energy will be used most, which would happen anyway. If energy costs too much, then any business that needs a significant amount would relocate to a location with cheaper energy.

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The French do not use 25% less than the UK, they use 25% MORE!!

However their power stations produce a lot less CO2 so overall they use 25% less, but everything else other than power stations they do worse or use more energy.

Hi Cells,

What numbers are you talking of exactly? And where did you get them from?

Just wondering, 'cos I did a quick check on the CIA world factbook for oil consumption and their numbers don't match yours. <_<

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