November 08, 2006

Sarkozy wades into the environment

Open Europe reports a comment by Nicolas Sarkozy that in order to compete with “polluting products coming from those countries refusing to apply the Kyoto protocol, the EU should think about a tax on imported carbon and de-tax its exported products.”

Now this has probably lost something in translation from Le Figaro. The Kyoto protocol may be pointless, but we know (from the RoHS directive) that the EU is perfectly capable of swingeing regulation on the back of bad science. Furthermore, what is good technological practice can quickly become outdated but new better practice can still fall foul of bureaucratic law.

So what is Sarko up to? Does he really intend that every product should be policed individually? Or would he work on a country by country basis, taxing products from developing countries in order to subsidise EU exports?

That would play well in the Franch elections, but one suspects it might just fall foul of WTO rules.

Goodness, campaigning for the French presidential election hasn't really started yet. What greater lunacies are still to come?

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