There was an article on Finland’s main commercial news channel yesterday that drew my attention. It was about tax on cars changing dramatically by 2009 in Finland. Currently there are huge taxes on cars when you buy them, but this tax has nothing to do with its emissions. Although Finnish people may be keen on buying a lot of the new technology available on the market, they are not very keen on switching cars often. This is because with the tax, they really are expensive. Cars are generally much older on average in Finland compared with other developed European countries. http://www.mtv3.fi/uutiset/arkisto.shtml/arkistot/kotimaa/2007/01/499080
In 2009 the tax will change so that there is a great incentive to buy cars that emit less carbon dioxide and also that consume less fuel. Cars will become less expensive, but using them much more costly. This motivates switching cars more often to ones with newer technology, which is good as they are more economical; however this also increases waste, i.e. the actual number of cars. Of course, if the old cars can be recycled up to 100% then it is good, but usually this is not the case.
Although 3/4 of the government support this reform, it still moves much slower than the car industry in implementing change. The car sellers would already be willing to implement this law even from today, but the government is concerned that there are a lot of low income families who depend quite a lot on their current vehicle for transportation (as a lot of Finnish people do not live in cities) and are not in the position to change quickly.
The Finnish Minister of Finance states that this is a necessary part of the response to climate change because we are living in a time where environmental issues play the most important role. I’m sorry I didn’t find these in English, but if you’d like to see the news clip: