Denmark agrees corporate carbon tax

A bird flies near chimneys emitting smoke in the harbour area of Copenhagen January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Yves Herman

COPENHAGEN, June 24 (Reuters) - Danish lawmakers on Friday agreed a new corporate carbon tax, the highest in Europe, which will target companies both in and outside the EU's carbon quota system, the government said.

A high carbon tax is seen as crucial to help reach Denmark's ambitious 2030 target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from 1990 levels.

"(It is) the biggest single contribution so far to cut emissions by 2030," said tax minister Jeppe Bruus in a statement.

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The total CO2 levy will be 1,125 Danish crowns ($159) per tonne by 2030 for companies subject to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and will consist of a 375 crowns fee on top of the projected 2030 price of EU carbon permits of 750 crowns.

Companies within so-called mineralogical processes, such as cement maker Aalborg Portland, Denmark's largest CO2 emitter, will pay a reduced price of 125 crowns per tonne on top of the ETS to prevent an exodus of production, the government said.

Companies not subject to the ETS, the EU's main policy tool for cutting emissions, would pay a 750 crowns carbon tax.

($1 = 7.0586 Danish crowns)

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Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard, editing by Terje Solsvik and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

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