Middle Earth in the Balance
Seems like everyone but the U.S. is working on a way to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that fuel global warming. Yesterday, the New Zealand government proposed levying a tax of about $10 per ton of CO2 to meet the targets of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The tax would go into effect in 2007 and would help the nation reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. According to government figures, the tax would raise the price of gasoline by 6 percent, diesel by 12 percent, electricity by 9 percent, natural gas by 8 percent, and coal by 19 percent. About half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the more than 50 million cattle and sheep raised in the country, but farmers would be exempt from the tax. The government is accepting public comments on the proposal and expects to make a final decision by August, when it is slated to ratify Kyoto.