UK could finally want carbon border tax, George Eustice says

The UK could finally have to implement a carbon dioxide border tax to cease shoppers successfully exporting greenhouse fuel emissions overseas, the surroundings secretary has stated.

On Sunday, George Eustice insisted he was not in favour of a home meat tax to assist cut back world heating and that such a proposal had “by no means been on the playing cards”.

However, in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, he stated that in the long run a CO2 border tax – a levy on imports associated to the quantity of CO2 generated by meat manufacturing – could be needed as a result of in any other case emission buying and selling schemes wouldn’t work.

Eustice additionally stated the Treasury and the Division for Enterprise, Vitality and Industrial Technique have been taking a look at fashions for a way such a tax would possibly function.

Downing Avenue has dominated out a CO2 tax that might impose larger prices on UK meat producers and Eustice stated a declare that he favoured a meat tax, primarily based on an interpretation of an interview he gave earlier than the beginning of the Cop26 summit, was flawed.

“What I truly stated is that in seven years we now have an enormous programme to repurpose the agriculture funds that we now have, and so there is no such thing as a case for any form of carbon emissions buying and selling or meat tax, or any such factor within the meals sector,” Eustice stated.

However he stated the logic of emission buying and selling schemes – imposing caps on the emissions allowed by producers – made a CO2 border tax inevitable.

“Had been you to introduce some form of emissions buying and selling scheme to attempt to cut back carbon emissions additional … then you definitely would additionally have to have some form of carbon border tax to take account of these international locations that possibly weren’t pulling their weight,” Eustice stated, stressing that ideally this needs to be finished multilaterally.

Eustice additionally stated a CO2 border tax could be needed to guard home producers. “For those who don’t need to export air pollution, then you definitely do sooner or later have to contemplate one thing like a carbon border tax,” he stated.

Requested if this meant larger taxes on items coming from international locations like China and India, Eustice stated he would phrase it in another way. “We might be saying, as international locations taking the motion essential to take care of this world problem, that we’re not going to permit these producers on this nation to be undercut by those that aren’t doing their share,” he stated.

Previously, No 10 has been cautious about endorsing CO2 border taxes. Boris Johnson is understood to dislike something that means shoppers could must pay a value for the shift in the direction of internet zero.

However at their summit in Cornwall in the summertime, G7 leaders acknowledged the necessity to deal with the issue of “carbon leakage”, in language that acknowledged the case for border taxes. The EU has printed its personal plan for what’s successfully a CO2 border tax, often known as the carbon border adjustment mechanism.

UK may eventually need carbon border tax, George Eustice says