French and Italian leaders are demanding countries outside the EU pay a
French president Nicholas Sarkozy and Italian prime minister Silvio
Berlusconi are calling for countries which do not have to comply with EU
regulation on environmental standards pay a carbon tax on products imported into
The leaders sent a joint letter to Jose Manual Barroso, head of the European
Commission, stressing “It would be unacceptable if the ambitious efforts already
agreed by the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions… were compromised by
carbon leaking due to… insufficient action by certain third countries,”
The letter continued that an environmental tax could be used to pressurise
other countries outside the EU to manage and reduce its carbon emissions.
Sarkozy said earlier this year it did not help trade or the environment if
products from other countries, which do nothing to tackle climate change, can
still be imported into the EU.
The European Commission is due to report in June this year on pollution
levels in the EU and hopes to make recommendations on ways to reduce it.
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