China said on Monday the European Union's plan to impose the world's first carbon border tax will expand climate issues into trade in violation of international principles and hurt prospects for economic growth.
The European Commission this month outlined plans to impose a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), or CO2 tariff, on polluting goods from 2026, forcing some companies importing into the European Union to pay carbon costs at the border on carbon-intensive products such as steel.
"CBAM is essentially a unilateral measure to extend the climate change issue to the trade sector. It violates WTO principles ... and (will) seriously undermine mutual trust in the global community and the prospects for economic growth," said Liu Youbin, a spokesman of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said at a media briefing.
He reiterated China's stance that each country's response to climate change should take into account its level of economic development, and said the CO2 tariff would severely harm the willingness and capability of countries to tackle the issue.
Guest post from Reuters