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EU to impose ‘green tariffs’ on polluting imports

The European Union has agreed, in a world-first deal, to a carbon tax on imports of goods which produce a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

The ‘green tariff’ will affect imports of iron, steel, cement, fertilisers, aluminium and electricity, with companies which fail to decarbonise required to cover the costs of their emissions.

It’s hoped this could force industries which make a profit from carbon intensive activities to clean up and will level the playing field as polluting industries in the EU are required to buy carbon permits.

Some details are yet to be agreed upon, but if the agreement goes ahead, it will begin on a trial basis in October 2023.

Jozef Síkela, Czech Republic’s minister of industry and trade, who led negotiations, said: ‘The carbon border adjustment mechanism is a key part of our climate action. This mechanism promotes the import of goods by non-EU businesses into the EU which fulfil the high climate standards applicable in the 27 EU member states.

‘This will ensure a balanced treatment of such imports and is designed to encourage our partners in the world to join the EU’s climate efforts.’

The tariffs are part of plans to phase out the free carbon permits domestic industries have been granted to allow them to compete with international firms.

Plans are likely to affect high-carbon economies, such as China, Turkey and India, the most, alarming developing nations.

China, India, Brazil and South Africa released a joint statement last year, expressing ‘grave concern’ over proposed plans to impose a carbon tax. The UK and US is yet to respond to the agreement.

However, fossil fuels still permeate throughout the EU and environmental groups plan to take legal action against the Commission’s support for 30 proposed gas projects

Photo provided by Christian Lue

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