New French President Nicholas Sarkozy has promised a stream of eco measures, led by a series of green taxes with a “polluter pays” principle. He plans to target countries like the US and Australia which have not signed the Kyoto treaty by taxing their imports. Although he is heavily pro-nuclear, Sarkozy has said he will encourage renewable energy in a country where it is still illegal to provide your own electricity through sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.
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Sarkozy, head of the centre-right Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party said in his official presidential program and in a series of interviews that he wanted to create an “ecological fiscal regime” and that he would punish countries that take no action to reduce greenhouse gases.
In his 15-point plan, Mr Sarkozy said France “must act at the international level so the major (developed) countries commit themselves to the reduction of greenhouse gases and the protection of biodiversity”.
“A global environment organization must see the day and I will propose that products coming from countries that don’t abide by any commitments in ecological matters will be punished,” he said.
He said the US, like Australia, had not signed the Kyoto Protocol. “I want to put an import tax on carbon emissions for countries not respecting the Kyoto treaty. A great nation like the United States has the duty to not obstruct the fight against global warming,” he said.
Sarkozy, meanwhile, has promised tax breaks for companies developing innovations related to environmental improvements. He said that overall green taxes (on polluters) should rise to 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.5 percent.
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