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Carbon dioxide emissions and energy efficiency: ECSC Consultative Committee

A resolution of the Consultative Committee of the European Coal and Steel Community (3 April 1992), concerning the Commission's communication to the Council on a Community strategy to limit carbon dioxide emissions and to improve energy efficiency (C02/energy tax), expresses t...
A resolution of the Consultative Committee of the European Coal and Steel Community (3 April 1992), concerning the Commission's communication to the Council on a Community strategy to limit carbon dioxide emissions and to improve energy efficiency (C02/energy tax), expresses the concern the Committee shares with the Commission on the risk to future generations resulting from the concentration in the atmosphere of greenhouse gas.

However, the Committee recalls that the issue is global and cannot be solved unilaterally by the European Community (Europe accounts for only 13% of world CO2 emissions). The United States and Japan are hostile to the principle of taxation. It is moreover clear that future increase in carbon gas emissions will essentially come from developing countries and eastern Europe, for which it would be unrealistic to envisage such taxation. The resolution stresses the inevitable loss of competitiveness and thus of employment for the European Community that would result from decisions of relocation in favour of countries not having a similar form of taxation. These transfers of activity to countries where the anti-pollution regulations are more relaxed, would, in the medium term, result in an increase in the greenhouse effect.

The Committee requests that the Commission reexamine its draft for a CO2/energy tax and replace it with a Community action programme to reduce the emissions of all greenhouse gasses (not only C02). It urges that research programmes in clean coal utilization receive the necessary financial support, and that all coal producing and consuming countries benefit from the results of research aimed at improving the environment and, in particular, at improving energy efficiency. In this context the Commission should play a leading role in the dissemination of research results. The fight against pollution must be pursued by means of: improving energy efficiency; preservation of forests worldwide, with economic compensation for Third World countries which agree to protect their forests; and rapid development of new uses for clean coal technology.

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