Mining giant Chile prepping carbon tax to curb CO2 emissions

SANTIAGO, March 31 Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:10am EDT

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SANTIAGO, March 31 (Reuters) - Chile's new center-left government said it is poised to unveil a tax on carbon emissions to boost the use of less polluting energy sources and fight climate change.

The measure, which forms part of a wider tax reform and will be detailed on Tuesday, will include incentives for thermoelectric power plants to lower their emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for causing climate change.

"I think companies can adapt well, and those that adapt won't need to pay the tax," Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco told Reuters on Monday. He declined to say how high the tax would be and how much the government hopes to collect, but stressed electricity costs won't rise.

Many mines in world No.1 copper producer are powered by coal-fired thermoelectric plants, which have come under increasing fire from environmentalists. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Felipe Iturrieta; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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