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Report: Britain considering 'green taxes' to help combat climate change

Source:  Copyright 2006, Associated Press
Date:  October 28, 2006
Original URL: Status DEAD

A British Sunday newspaper reported that the government could levy new "green taxes" to halt climate change.

The Mail on Sunday said in early editions Saturday that it had obtained a letter written puportedly written by Environment Minister David Miliband, to the treasurer, Gordon Brown, which called for higher taxes on cheap airline flights, fuel, and high-emission vehicles.

The government should "increase the pace of existing tax measures, broaden them into sectors where incentives to cut carbon emissions are weak and identify new instruments to drive progress in tackling greenhouse gas," the newspaper quotes the letter as saying.

Low-cost airline flights are an area a five pound (US$9.50; €7.45) increase in taxes, would raise 400 million pounds (US$760 million; €600 million) a year, the report said. The letter recommends that the government explore a "substantial increase" in taxes for high-emission vehicles, the newspaper said.

The newspaper quoted an aide to Miliband as saying that the letter contained only ideas, rather than a package of measures.

On Monday, a report on climate change, commissioned by Brown, is due to be released. The 700-page report is expected say global warming could cost world economies trillions of pounds (dollars, euros), the Observer reported.

The newspaper said the report will say the world needs to spend one per cent of global gross domestic product — which it calculated as 184 billion pounds (US$349 billion; €274 billion) — to deal with climate change; Otherwise, the bill would reach into the trillions.

The report will also recommend that a successor to the Kyoto accord should be signed next year rather than waiting for 2010 or 2011 because of the urgency of the problem, the Observer said.

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