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A new carbon tax that was supposed to go into effect in France at New Year has been struck down, delivering a blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy.
France's Constitutional Council, a legal compliance watchdog, said there were too many exemptions for polluters in the tax plan.
The body said 93% of industrial emissions, other than fuel use, would be exempt from the tax.
The tax was set at 17 euros (£15) per tonne of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2).