France to introduce new type of green tax: minister

MARSEILLE, France Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:53pm EDT

French Ecology and Energy Minister Philippe Martin arrives at the Elysee Palace to attend the government seminar, ''France in 2025'' as ministers end their summer holiday break, in Paris August 19, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

French Ecology and Energy Minister Philippe Martin arrives at the Elysee Palace to attend the government seminar, ''France in 2025'' as ministers end their summer holiday break, in Paris August 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - France will introduce a new type of green tax, Energy Minister Philippe Martin announced on Thursday, but gave no details about what form it would take or when details would become available.

Government sources said earlier this year that any such tax was likely to be limited and have little to no impact on French consumers and industries in the first year in 2014.

Martin said on Thursday a "decision was taken" by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to create what he called "a climate energy contribution."

He did not elaborate and a spokeswoman for the energy ministry did not immediately return a request for comment.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy's attempt at a carbon tax was blocked by the country's constitutional court in 2009. He had planned to set the levy at 17 euros per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions and increase it over time, which would have translated into a rise in the price of fuel for cars, domestic heating and factories.

Socialist President Francois Hollande is keen to reassure the Green party's members of his government of his green credentials after he sacked his environment minister earlier this year, but is also wary of raising new taxes.

(Reporting by Jean-Francois Rosnoblet; Additional reporting by Michel Rose; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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