The European Union's executive branch is proposing that individual member countries drop their right to veto decisions on energy taxes, a move that could facilitate the introduction of a carbon tax across the whole bloc.
The EU's energy commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete, said Tuesday that no longer requiring unanimous votes would allow "the potential of energy taxation to foster the clean energy transition can be freed."
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Approval of energy tax decisions instead would need a qualified majority, or 16 of the current 28 countries representing at least 65 percent of the EU's population.
Scientists and economists say carbon pricing could become a key tool to reduce emissions from fossil fuels, but warn it needs to be applied in a way that doesn't disadvantage some countries or sections of the population.