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EU seeks deal on world-first carbon border tariff

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is hoping to succeed in a deal on Tuesday to impose a carbon dioxide tariff on imports of polluting items corresponding to metal and cement, a scheme the bloc says is essential to assist European trade in the course of the low-carbon transition.

The EU final 12 months proposed a legislation to impose CO2 emissions prices from 2026 on imports of metal, cement, fertilisers, aluminium and electrical energy, to forestall home trade from being undercut by cheaper items made in international locations with weaker environmental guidelines.

Negotiators from EU international locations and the European Parliament intention to strike a deal on the world-first legislation on Tuesday night – after which, each side would want to formally rubber stamp it.

An EU parliament official stated they had been looking forward to a deal, however that some points had been nonetheless unresolved. EU lawmakers wish to prolong the levy to cowl natural chemical compounds, hydrogen and plastics, for instance. Negotiators are additionally nonetheless debating whether or not it is going to apply from 2026 or 2027.

The EU scheme would require corporations importing items into Europe to purchase certificates to cowl the CO2 emissions embedded in these merchandise. The intention is create a stage taking part in area between abroad companies and home EU industries, who should purchase permits from the EU carbon market once they pollute.

The EU levy has confronted criticism from international locations together with China, though Brussels has stated international locations may very well be exempted if they’ve a home CO2 worth akin to the EU’s, or related local weather change targets.

EU local weather coverage chief Frans Timmermans stated in September america might keep away from the levy on that foundation.

The tariff is a part of a bundle of EU insurance policies designed to assist the world keep away from disastrous local weather change by chopping EU emissions 55% by 2030 from 1990 ranges.

Separate EU negotiations later this week will search a deal on the centrepiece of that bundle – a reform of the EU carbon market. These talks additionally determine how rapidly EU industries will lose the free CO2 permits they obtain to protect them from abroad competitors – which Brussels says should be phased out when its carbon border tariff is phased in, to adjust to World Commerce Organisation guidelines.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; enhancing by David Evans)

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