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Item #d95jan116

A meeting of EU environment ministers on Dec. 15-16 made it clear that the concept of a unified CO2/energy tax for all EU member countries is dead. Britain was the final holdout against the tax, which has been proposed over the past three years as a major instrument by which the EU could meet its commitments for reducing greenhouse gases. The European Commission will soon be proposing guidelines for individual countries to establish voluntary national taxes, something all of them (paradoxically including Britain) are prepared to do. The demise of the tax and some repercussions on EU climate commitments are discussed in three articles in Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 3-4 and 22, Jan. 11. The lack of EU policies to implement climate commitments is the subject of a feature report in Global Environ. Change Rep. (pp. 1-3, Dec. 9). The concept of environmental taxation is still alive in the EU, as explained by recent EU environment commissioner Yannis Paleokrassas in Chem. & Industry (pp. 953-955, Dec. 5), drawing on a recent European Commission white paper on growth, competitiveness, and environment.

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