John Kerry says EU carbon border tax adjustment should be a 'last resort"
President Biden's climate envoy John Kerry "warned the EU that a carbon border tax adjustment should be a 'last resort,'" the Financial Times reports (subscription).
Why it matters: The official statement following a meeting between Kerry and European officials shows that while the U.S. and EU are now broadly aligned on climate, harmony on policy specifics can be trickier.
Driving the news: Kerry spoke to the FT at the close of his meetings. From their piece...
- The former secretary of state said "he was 'concerned' about Brussels’ forthcoming plans for a carbon border adjustment mechanism and urged the EU to wait until after the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow to move forward."
- Kerry said a border tax "does have serious implications for economies, and for relationships, and trade."
Catch up fast: Border adjustments are meant to ensure industries in regions with strong emissions-cutting policies don't face a competitive disadvantage.
- Such trade measures could also avoid simply moving emissions from place to place, or "carbon leakage."
- European Commission's Frans Timmermans said earlier this year that it's a "matter of survival" for European industries.
The intrigue: Biden's platform called for "carbon adjustment fees or quotas on carbon-intensive goods from countries that are failing to meet their climate...obligations," and name-checked China.
- But the future of those plans is pretty vague right now.