The summer travel season has begun to hit full swing, and despite the influx of tourists in their country, the French are waging an internal war over the nation’s life blood: tourism.
A few days have passed since the French lawmakers passed a tourist tax that would raise by more than five times the hotel taxes paid by tourists, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fablus has condemned the plan, stating that it could dampen tourism in an economy that’s already crippling.
The French parliament’s lower chamber, lawmakers from Fabius’ Socialist Party had intiated two increase in the tourist tax last week. The new taxes will apply for the tourists to spend up to eight euros ($10.90) a night in a hotel vs the current 1.5 euros, if confirmed by the Senate.
The price would rise with the type of hotel category. In Paris, a favorite destination for American tourists, the prices would be even higher — guests would pay an additional two euros a night to pay for local transportation improvements.
This is no small matter. Tourism is one of France’s chief industries, contributing about 7% to France’s total GDP in 2012, which is the most recent year measured by Euromonitor International, the research specialist. France was the leading tourist destination worldwide, receiving 83 million inbound arrivals in 2012
President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled new rules and regulations which have been aimed to subduing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
While the new rules are not setteling well with the coal industry in the near-term and have failed to address methane emissions which are produced from natural gas production, they have been seen as step in the right direction to minimize human contribution to climate change.
The new rules could help save the future of coal power plants at Duke Energy, and increase the profit margins for industrial manufacturers such as oil refiner BP and car manufacturer Ford Motor, all of which have been investing or are considering the technology.
The most notable contribution from the rules is that the often-ignored technology could help add over $1.3 trillion to American GDP and reduce the nations total CO2 emissions by a staggering 52% from the 2012 levels in just a couple of decade.
But what exactly is this? It’s a carbon sequestration technology like no other. Imagine converting waste CO2 into chemicals, fuels, animal feed and even flavors and fragrances at a cost petroleum and sugar feedstocks could only dream of. Electricity generators (responsible for 38% of the nation’s total carbon emissions) and industrial manufacturers (responsible for 14%) will be able to slash carbon emissions and monetize CO2 instead of dumping it into the atmosphere or paying a tax. Will companies really be able to create money out of thin air?