CO2 border taxes are also intended to protect domestic production. If a single country undertakes to reduce emissions domestically, it runs the risk that its steel and cement works, for example, have higher costs and disadvantage foreign competitors with looser environmental regulations. This could move steel and cement production overseas and undermine climate policy, as foreign factories elsewhere would emit as much or more carbon dioxide.
“This legislation will maintain American leadership in the climate crisis, but neither can we be ‘Uncle Sucker’ where other countries, led by China, are taking advantage of the benefits we are asking our country for,” said Mr. Markey.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, said he took in customs because “it prevents other countries from polluting the environment”.
China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which are driving global warming, followed by the United States, the European Union, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Iran and Canada.
Scientists have warned that the world must urgently reduce emissions if it has a chance to keep global average temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to pre-industrial levels. That is the threshold above which experts say the planet will suffer catastrophic, irreversible damage. The temperature change isn’t even around the globe; some regions have already reached an increase of 2 degrees Celsius.
President Biden has pledged to reduce United States greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An advisor to the Senate leadership said the Biden government had raised the idea of a CO2 border tax with legislators. Earlier this year she came up with the idea of taxing high-carbon imports as part of a broader trade policy.
The budget decision has yet to be written. This work will be done by various committees in the coming months.