Further to our report of September 4, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is implementing a stiffer-than-expected carbon tax to encourage industry and households to cut energy consumption. The levy will begin at €17 ($24.78 US) per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions, so fuel costs will rise, and continue to rise progressively

“The gravest challenge that we face is climate change … Every one of our compatriots must feel concerned,” Sarkozy said in a televised speech aimed at convincing skeptics that higher prices won’t hurt the economy. Sarkozy has pledged that the carbon levy will not increase the household tax burden because it will be offset by income tax cuts, and households in the lowest tax bracket will receive green rebates from the state to compensate for higher energy bills.

Contact: French National Assembly, +33 (0) 140 637-777, www.assemblee-nationale.fr/index.asp.