Norway moving towards more taxes on air-pollution

Apr 24, 1998 02:00 AM

Believing the best to way to protect the environment is to hit polluters in the wallet, the government recently proposed a new system of "green taxes".
The minority government wants to tax industries for climate-damaging emissions, while easing income taxes on households. The proposal requires parliament's approval.
"The proposal is modest compared to the challenges we are faces," said Finance Minister Gudmund Restad in presenting the proposals. "But this is an important first step on the road."
Norway already has environment taxes, including tariffs on gasoline and CO2 emissions from many industries. But Restad said stronger measures are needed to meet Norway's obligations under the international environmental protocol agreed to in Kyoto, Japan last year.
Norway agreed to limit its CO2 emissions to 1 % over 1990 levels until the year 2018.
The government has proposed a 100-kroner ($ 13.50) per ton tax on CO2 emissions by such enterprises as metals smelters, oil refineries, airlines, ships and even fishing boats.
It also wants to impose at 3-kroner-per-kilogram (about 10 $cents per pound) tax on SO2 emissions, a major cause of acid rain. The government said it would compensate many of the industries with lower taxes in other areas to protect their competitiveness in the international market.
Part of the extra revenues from the taxes would be used to ease income tax, and to fund alternative energy programs, including windmills and geothermal energy.

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