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EU trade chief-designate rejects carbon border tariffs

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Friday, 22 January 2010

EU trade chief-designate rejects carbon border tariffs

The European Union should not impose border tariffs on goods from countries that fail to cut back their climate-damaging emissions, the EU's trade commissioner-designate said on the 12th January. "I don't think that's the right approach myself", Karel de Gucht told members of the European Parliament, which will vote whether to approve the European Commission line-up on 26 January. "It's an approach that will run into many practical problems." Europe has pledged to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide, which are blamed for climate change, to a fifth below 1990 levels over the next decade. But manufacturers worry that the cost of cleaning up factories and power-generators will make their products more expensive and less attractive than cheap imports from rivals in India and China. Some politicians, particularly in France, have said that imposing carbon tariffs on goods from carbon-intensive manufacturing regions would level out the playing field.