Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Davos 2020: Ursula von der Leyen warns China to price carbon or face tax
Commission president sets out Brussels’ plan for CO2 border adjustment mechanism
Ursula von der Leyen has warned China and other large fossil fuel producers to find a way to price carbon at home or risk being hit by the EU with a planned CO2 tax on imports.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, the president of the European Commission laid out Brussels’ plan to set up a carbon border adjustment mechanism that would hit importers from countries that do not respect international climate goals.
“There is no point in only reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home, if we increase the import of CO2 from abroad,” Ms von der Leyen told delegates at Davos. “It is not only a climate issue; it is also an issue of fairness towards our businesses and our workers. We will protect them from unfair competition.”
“If this turns into a global trend, we will have a global level playing field where no carbon border tax will be necessary,” said Ms von der Leyen.
Speaking in Davos, Prince Charles, the heir to the UK throne, backed higher carbon taxes to “reverse perverse subsidies and improve incentives for sustainable alternatives”.
He said: “It is time to level the playing field and to think about how we properly deploy taxes, policies and regulations in a way that catalyses sustainable markets.”
“We simply cannot waste any more time,” he said. “The only limit is our willingness to act and the time to act is now.”
…Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/c93694c8-3d15-11ea-a01a-bae547046735
Ursula von der Leyen is a deep green, who has advocated for a European version of the Green New Deal. Brexit leader Nigel Farage has accused Ursula of being a hardline communist. Farage was the only British political leader to throw his wholehearted support behind President Trump’s campaign in 2016, and shared the platform with President Trump during the campaign.
Before key Merkel ally Ursula von der Leyen parachuted to safety as the new head of the European Commission, effectively the EU’s central executive committee, she was struggling with answering difficult questions in Germany over the accidental wiping of mobile phone evidence relating to her alleged awarding of large defence contracts to external consultants without proper oversight.