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Chris Bryant

A Carbon Border Tax Is a Necessary Nuisance

A surcharge on imports that don’t meet the European Union’s climate standards will annoy trade partners. It’s still the right thing to do.

Sparks may fly

Sparks may fly

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The European Union wants to prove to the world just how serious it is about fighting climate change. But can it coerce other countries to act as decisively?  

On Wednesday, the European Commission will outline a hugely ambitious package of climate legislation with the aim of achieving the bloc’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels. The “Fit for 55” measures encompass several vital areas: phasing out combustion engine vehicles, a minimum tax on polluting aviation fuels and the inclusion of shipping in Europe’s emissions trading system.