France to Include Carbon Levy in Fuel Tax in 2014, Minister Says

France will introduce a carbon levy on fuel as the government tries to use the tax system to cut emissions, Environment Minister Philippe Martin said today.

The government will ensure the overall tax burden on fuel stays at current levels next year, he said, giving no details of how the new levy will work.

“I can confirm the introduction of a carbon component to the consumer tax” will be included in the 2014 budget, Martin told reporters. “It won’t affect households and companies” next year, he said.

“The measure will allow us to have something that many other countries have already done,” he said.

The levy will make French taxes “greener” by penalizing pollution, according to Martin. The fact that it won’t add to French taxes next year is part of the government’s policy to “stabilize” the fiscal burden, he said

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said last month that he understands that some people are “fed up” with taxes and promised that the government is shifting to spending cuts in its 2014 budget. Full details of the budget plans will be published Sept. 25.

The government has no plans for a specific mechanism in the 2014 budget to bring taxes on diesel to the level of those on gasoline, Martin said today at his first press conference in Paris since taking over from Delphine Batho in July.

The government’s planned law for the country’s future energy mix, which Hollande has pledged will lower dependence on atomic reactors, is expected to be introduced in parliament next spring, Martin said. Another to modernize the mining code is ready, he said.

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