U.K. Should Adopt Carbon Border Tax, Former Minister Fox Urges

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The U.K. should adopt a carbon border tax to help in the fight against climate change, according to a former British government minister.

The tax, which would put a levy on imported goods that are produced in countries with weaker climate laws, should form part of the world’s response to tackling global warming and Britain ought to embrace the policy, said Liam Fox, who served as the U.K.’s international trade secretary from 2016 to 2019.

“As we head towards COP26 in Glasgow, we must use the opportunity not simply to chair but to lead,” Fox is due to say at an event Thursday. “Using market mechanisms offer the best hope.”

The idea of such a tax has been gaining interest from world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, as a way of shielding domestic workers who are making energy-intensive goods while encouraging other nations to slash emissions. Having to pay a tariff would discourage companies from moving operations to countries with less-stringent rules.

Work is going on internally in the U.K. government about such an option but it won’t be pushed at the G-7 summit in June, according to a British official. Britain is hosting global climate change talks in November, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants to make cutting emissions a key priority in recovery efforts.

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