French ideas on climate and trade policies

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Courtesy of Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH

The French idea of imposing a “CO2 tax” on imports from countries not respecting a post- Kyoto regime, launched in 2006, has moved to centre-stage in Europe and elsewhere. It has triggered a debate in the European discussion on the “climate package”, the legislative proposals by the Commission that will translate into concrete action the pledges made by the European Council in March 2007 to reduce European emissions by 20% by 2020. This article discusses World Trade Organisation (WTO) aspects of an import tax, and shows that WTO law needs to be looked at very carefully in the further elaboration of the import tax plan, or of any other “border adjustment mechanisms”.

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