PARIS (Reuters) – Support is building for a European tax on imports from countries with easier carbon emission standards, senior officials from the European Union and France said on Tuesday, as the bloc sought to impose its guidelines on the emissions trading market.
As the EU seeks to take the lead globally against greenhouse gas emissions, it wants to ensure that companies do not escape its stricter standards by simply increasing production in third countries more clements.
The European Commission is due to present a proposal in June to force non-EU producers to pay an emissions-based fee to sell polluting products in Europe, leveling the playing field with EU companies subject to emission standards. stricter emissions.
“We are having discussions with our European colleagues and the bases for an agreement are being built quickly,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a speech delivered at an online conference organized by the French government.
Along with France, the governments of Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Spain on Tuesday published an opinion piece on the Politico news site calling for a mechanism European carbon border adjustment from 2023.
To avoid falling under World Trade Organization rules and triggering retaliatory sanctions, the levy should be applied in a way that does not discriminate between importers on the basis of their origin.
One way to find some traction might be to require importers to pay an emission allowance at the border based on the price of the bloc’s existing emissions trading system.
“Although we have not yet made our choice, there is some convergence towards an option reflecting the EU Emissions Trading System,” said EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni , during the conference.
Paris, which has long defended a carbon tax at the border, favors a transitional phase until 2030 to gradually eliminate free emission allowances for certain EU companies.