January 20, 2010

France renewed efforts on Wednesday to become the first big economy to tax harmful carbon emissions, with the government due to thrash out new plans for the measure to curb climate change.

[efoods]Ministers were due to draw up amendments to a law that was rejected last month by the country’s high court, days before it was to kick in — an embarrassing setback for President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The tax is aimed at encouraging French consumers to stop wasting energy, but the court ruled that too many exemptions created inequalities and unfairly placed the burden of cuts on a minority of consumers.

Sarkozy had fiercely defended the measure in the face of strong public opposition, calling it a “revolutionary” approach in the fight against climate change and making it a pillar of his 2010 budget.

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