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France May Propose Green Taxes to Spur Investment, Batho Says

France will study new environmental taxes to try to change habits and fund green energy investment, Environment and Energy Minister Delphine Batho said.

A first series of measures may be proposed before June, she said in a speech in Paris today as a commission set up to examine potential policies met for the first time.

The Socialist government wants to cut reliance on nuclear power and promote energy efficiency. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy was forced to scrap a tax on carbon emissions in 2010.

“We must learn lessons from past failures,” Batho said.

France collected 40 billion euros ($53 billion) in 2011 from environmental taxes, three-quarters of which were on energy used, mostly from fossil fuels, according to a ministry document released today. The taxes may be a way to pay for a planned shift in energy sources, as well as helping to cut pollution and conserve resources, Batho told reporters.

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