13 Jul 2020, 13:57
Benjamin Wehrmann

Austria calls for carbon border tax after Germany launches EU Presidency

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

The European Union should introduce a carbon border tax on imports as a source of income to finance the bloc's coronavirus recovery programmes, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS). "I'd welcome a tax on CO2," Kurz said, arguing that "greater truth about costs" is needed in the fight against global warming. In the interview, which follows the launch of Germany's EU Council presidency at the start of the month, Kurz supported the idea of a common EU support programme to assist member countries in coping with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. "If the EU takes on debt jointly, it should also have its own source of income," Kurz argued, adding that "fair and equitable global trade" would need to be at the heart of this approach. This means that "climate damage due to long transport routes" for food and other products need to be accounted for, which could be achieved with a carbon tax on imports. 

Germany and France's governments have urged the introduction of a carbon border tax in the EU in June and vowed to jointly explore ways to implement it. The tax has also been proposed by the EU Commission in its Green Deal. Germany has said advancing climate action in Europe will be one of its priorities in the presidency during the second half of 2020.

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