Top EU official warns trade partners to brace for climate tariffs

Ursula Leyen, President, European Commission
Ursula Leyen, President, European Commission

EUROPEAN Commission President Ursula Leyen, on Wednesday, warned major trading partners that a carbon tax on imports if its planned transition to carbon neutrality puts its products at a disadvantage in the global market.

“There is no point in only reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home if we increase the import of carbon dioxide (CO2) from abroad. It is a matter of fairness towards our business and our workers.

“We will protect them from unfair competition raising the prospect of a carbon border tax which could be levied on high-emissions goods imported from outside the EU, “Leyen said.

The EU recently pledged to sink the bloc’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. Its executive branch unveiled a plan recently to mobilize one trillion euros (1.1 trillion dollars) to support the transition.

Leyen, however, suggested that the EU would not accept losing out in the international market to states which drag their feet on climate action.

She commended California and China emissions trading system for taking the first steps toward a CO2 pricing system, a mechanism that aims to channel investments toward lower emissions options.

“If such steps turn into a global trend, we will have a global level playing field, where no carbon border tax is needed anymore,” she said. (dpa/NAN)

– Jan. 22, 2020 @ 16:39 GMT |

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