EU carbon tariffs gain increasing approval

eu carbon tariffs
© iStock/B&M Noskowski

Representatives of politics and business in the EU have indicated they may be increasingly amenable to the introduction of a tax on carbon emissions.

Trade group BusinessEurope, the EU’s largest business lobbying body, has said it is now actively discussing the potential of EU carbon tariffs, to be imposed along the EU’s external borders on countries which do not impose emissions restrictions on their industries. BusinessEurope, which had previously rejected all suggestions of a tax or tariff on carbon emissions, said the concept was still in the early stages of discussion; but that it was no longer fully off the table.

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “The European business community stands behind the EU ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Today businesses are making huge investments and are ready to engage with governments and society to reach this objective of climate neutrality. Whether climate neutrality is possible by around mid-century in order to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5°C will depend on meeting a set of crucial framework conditions and actions. This means Europe needs a comprehensive industrial strategy for investments, large-scale availability of affordable low-carbon energy, full participation of its citizens and a rapid convergence of global actions.”

Meanwhile representatives of Germany’s dual ruling parties, the Christian Democratic Union and its coalition partner the Social Democrats, say they have reached a consensus on a proposed system of carbon emissions pricing to be deployed nationwide. An official from Germany’s Economy Ministry told German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine: “It looks like a form of CO2 pricing is going to come.”

Signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement will attend a stocktaking exercise in 2023, aimed at examining the progress made so far on international climate change mitigation efforts and redefining emissions targets where necessary.

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