As reported in yesterday's Guardian, France launches radical green tax on bigger cars....which will work like this:
"Under the scheme, all new cars sold in France will be divided into five classes, from the least polluting to the most.
Most mid-sized family cars, such as the Renault Scenic, will fall into middle "neutral" band, category C, and be liable for neither a surcharge or a rebate, the spokesman said.
But smaller runabouts that emit less than 140g per kilometre of carbon monoxide, the main greenhouse effect gas, will benefit from a rebate ranging from €200 to €700, as will diesel cars fitted with filters to remove harmful fine particles from their exhaust.
And at the other end of the scale, drivers who opt for a large luxury saloon with a powerful engine emitting more than 180g of CO2, or for an outsized, diesel-driven four-by-four not fitted with a particle filter, will face a surcharge ranging from €1,500 to €3,500."
The French estimate that, of the two million cars sold every year, about half will fall into the central 'neutral' category, with the little eco-friendly car drivers rebate being directly subsidised by the tax on the big unfriendly car drivers. The system, which will come into force on January 1st 2005, is particularly aimed at the drivers of SUVs, which one French official called "a caricature of a car". Its ultimate objective is, of course, to reduce atmospheric pollution, which is blamed for 30,000 deaths each year in France.
As my French teacher might have said, "A mon avis, c'est une trés bonne idée".