Tuesday, December 19, 2006

EU Trade Chief gives France the 'what fer'

From Financial Times.com

The European Union’s trade commissioner will on Monday dismiss French proposals for a “green” tax on goods from countries that have not ratified the Kyoto treaty as not only a probable breach of trade rules but also “not good politics”.

Peter Mandelson says that the levy, aiming to cancel the competitive advantage of countries that are not cutting carbon emissions to fight global warming, would be “highly problematic under World Trade Organisation rules and almost impossible to implement in practice”.

But wait, there's more:

“Not participating in the Kyoto process is not illegal. Nor is it a subsidy under WTO rules,” Mr Mandelson will warn in a podcast speech to 50,000 subscribers. “How would we choose what goods to target? China has ratified Kyoto but has no Kyoto targets because of its developing country status. The US has not ratified but states like California have ambitious climate change policies.”

Above all, he says, it would undermine the international co-operation required to combat climate change.

Well, somebody from the EU is finally making sense.  Now if this fellow can just get the rest of his little buddies to wake up.

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