Report: Chirac Eyes Carbon Tax for U.S.
Published: 2/1/07, 2:05 PM EDT
PARIS (AP) - The United States could face possible European carbon taxes on its exports if it does not sign global climate accords, French President Jacques Chirac was quoted as saying in an interview published Thursday.
"A carbon tax is inevitable," Chirac reportedly said in the interview with the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and French weekly Nouvel Observateur.
Chirac urged the United States to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls for steep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions believed to worsen global warming, the publications said.
France has pushed in the past for a carbon tax on industrial goods from countries that refuse to sign the Kyoto accord, meant mainly to target the United States and China. Some lawyers say it would violate international trade rules.
"If (the tax) is European, and I believe it will be European, then it will all the same have a certain influence because it means that all the countries that do not accept the minimum obligations will be obliged to pay," Chirac was quoted as saying.
The Kyoto Protocol, the U.N. treaty on climate change, requires 35 industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S. and Australia are the only major industrial nations to reject the treaty. Kyoto parties are discussing what kind of timetables and quotas should follow that pact's expiration in 2012.
Chirac spoke before a two-day conference on the environment in Paris aimed at getting support for his idea for a new world environmental body. Chirac's officials said Thursday that the U.S., Russia, China and India remained opposed to the idea.