Home Greenhouse UK May Need A Border Carbon Tax, Says George Eustice | Greenhouse gas emissions

UK May Need A Border Carbon Tax, Says George Eustice | Greenhouse gas emissions

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The UK may eventually need to implement a border tax on carbon dioxide to prevent consumers from effectively exporting greenhouse gas emissions abroad, the Environment Secretary said.

On Sunday, George Eustice insisted he was not in favor of a national meat tax to help reduce global warming and that such a proposal had “never been on the cards.”

But, in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, he said that in the long run, a CO2 border tax – a levy on imports linked to the quantity of CO2 generated by meat production – might be necessary because otherwise emissions trading systems would not work.

Eustice also said that the Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy were studying models for how such a tax would work.

Downing Street has ruled out a CO2 tax that would impose higher costs on UK meat producers and Eustice said that a claim he was in favor of a meat tax, based on an interpretation of an interview he gave before the start from the top of the Cop26, was wrong.

“What I actually said is that in seven years we have a big program to reallocate the farm budget that we have, and so there is no case for any kind of emissions trading. carbon or meat tax, or whatever in the food business, ”Eustice said.

But he said the logic of emissions trading systems – imposing caps on emissions allowed by producers – made a CO2 border tax inevitable.

“If you were to introduce some kind of emissions trading system to try to reduce carbon emissions further … then you would also need some kind of carbon tax at the border to account for countries that maybe didn’t. not be their weight, ”Eustice said. , stressing that ideally this should be done at the multilateral level.

Eustice also said a CO2 a border tax might be necessary to protect domestic producers. “If you don’t want to export pollution, you have to consider something like a border carbon tax at some point,” he said.

When asked if that meant higher taxes on goods from countries like China and India, Eustice replied that he would phrase it differently. “We would say, as a country taking the necessary steps to face this global challenge, that we are not going to allow these producers in this country to be undermined by those who are not doing their part,” he said. -he declares.

In the past, No.10 has been cautious about approving CO2 border taxes. Boris Johnson is known to dislike anything that suggests consumers might have to pay a price for net zero crossing.

But at their summit in Cornwall this summer, G7 leaders recognized the need to tackle the problem of ‘carbon leakage’, in language that recognized the case for border taxes. The EU has published its own plan for what is effectively a CO2 border tax, known as the carbon border adjustment mechanism.