The Norwegian government has called for an import tax on the so-called "industrial" or "F" gases - HFCs, PFCs and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) - controlled under the Kyoto protocol along with carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.
In a statement yesterday the national pollution control authority (SFT) said that Norway's "emissions accounts" indicated that "consumption [of the industrial gases] is growing strongly". The recommended levy of about NKr250 (euros 30) per tonne of CO2-equivalent is based on a report commissioned by the environment ministry. "The duty should be refundable, that is to say it would be paid back on delivery of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 to a collection centre, or when they are removed from scrapped equipment," SFT adds.
"SFT's analyses show that a duty of about NKr250 could inspire initiatives which would reduce emissions [of the industrial gases] by 40%," Janne Sollie of SFT said. "Our proposal for a refundable tax will also encourage recycling, and destruction of any residues."
According to the report, the estimated annual cost of the scheme would be NKr70-80m. The tax would be unlikely to affect the refrigeration industry, but could reduce the competitiveness of extruded polystyrene insulation foam and electrical insulation containing SF6.
The Norwegian recommendations follow plans by Nordic neighbour Denmark to tax the three "F" gases, Europe's most advanced attempt to crack down on the chemicals to date (ENDS Daily 9 November 2000). The Danish measure was approved late last year and is due to take effect on 1 March.Follow Up:SFT
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