emissions in general. The OPEC countries and fossil fuel producing industries 108 in other countries fear the use of such taxes will give them a comparative disadvantage. Yet these taxes internalize the price of degrading the environment. In addition, they generate resources that can be used for environmental protection measures including pollution control. The taxes also change the behavior of consumers and producers toward more sustainable patterns of consumption.
Suggestions have been made to create an international tax. 109 This has been suggested as a means of ensuring significant and automatic funding of international transfers from industrialized to developing countries to support sustainable development. 110 A tax on carbon, a tax on foreign exchange transactions (the "Tobin Tax"), and a tax on international air transport have been given the most attention. 111
In order to be politically acceptable and economically justified, studies suggest the tax would have to fulfill the following criteria: be introduced as a voluntary scheme, be legislated and collected nationally, use a large base to permit its rates to be low, be levied on activities generating global, negative externalities, most of the revenue being retained by national governments, remaining revenue being allocated to an international financial transfer mechanism, and the allocations being limited to countries participating in the scheme. 112 It seems the carbon tax would be the best candidate according to these criteria. 113
The main drawback with such a tax scheme is that the sovereign right of taxation would be delegated away from national governments and to an international body, which states are reluctant to do. 114 Another problem with the carbon tax is that it does not guarantee the amount of reduction of carbon emissions, which depends on energy consumers and suppliers. 115 Yet, as the tax would be levied on activities that generate global negative externalities, it may be looked upon as an inevitable consequence of the globalization of the economy and rising concern about global environmental degradation. 116