(Adds quote, detail)
PARIS, Sept 20 (Reuters) - France called on its European Union partners on Friday to agree a more ambitious target to cut greenhouse gas emissions and said the 28-nation bloc should consider imposing an EU-wide carbon tax.
French President Francois Hollande urged the EU to cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels - a much tougher target than the existing 20 percent goal.
"Europe must set an example," Hollande told an energy conference in Paris, adding that France would lead the way with a goal of halving its own energy consumption by 2050 and achieving a 30 percent cut in fossil fuel consumption by 2030.
Hollande's proposals chime with plans under consideration by the European Commission. EU sources said on Thursday the bloc's executive was also considering doubling the bloc's target to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The European Union's goals can influence the international debate on climate change and also have a bearing on the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which fell to record lows earlier this year because of a surplus of tradeable permits to pollute above allocated levels.
If agreed, the new European goals would be more ambitious than other nations have managed.
Hollande also said that his plan aims to save 20 to 50 billion euros on France's annual energy bill by 2030. In 2012 the annual bill amounted to 68 billion euros. (Reporting by Michel Rose and Muriel Boselli; Writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by Mark John)