French Against Frying
France unveiled a plan to fight global warming yesterday, with the aim of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent from 1990 levels by 2010 to meet its goals under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The plan includes an energy consumption tax on industries that will go into effect in 2001, but industries under serious competitive pressure will be allowed to work on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions instead of paying the tax. Companies that are unable to reach their emissions targets will be able to buy emissions credits from businesses that go beyond required cuts. The plan also aims to develop better public transportation, encourage improved fuel economy in vehicles, and promote research into sustainable energy sources. Greenpeace criticized the government for being unwilling to raise gasoline prices, and even French Environment Minister Dominique Voynet said the government’s plan may not go far enough.