Industry fights German ecotax expansion plan

Government move to phase out exemptions benefiting natural gas, aluminium, faces opposition

The German government's decision to end certain exemptions from its energy tax programme has drawn sharp criticism from those industries that benefit most from them. The metals industry claims the move would increase its costs by more than €360m, while the natural gas sector says the change would benefit heating oil and coal, which are far less environmentally friendly (EED 15/10/02).

Werner Marnette of metals industry association WVM said the additional costs borne by metal makers - if an exemption on energy-intensive industries was dropped - would mark "the death knell for German aluminium smelters and a significant threat to other parts of the base metals industry".

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