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Carbon Tariffs

Volume 681: debated on Thursday 8 October 2020

What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the potential merits of using carbon tariffs to reduce emissions associated with international trade. (907236)

Britain has reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation since 1990; and we were the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions, too. This people’s Government will make sure the British people benefit from being at the forefront of clean wind energy. We will spend £160 million on port and factory upgrades to create jobs, build turbines and increase our offshore wind capacity, which is already the biggest in the world. The hon. Gentleman can be sure that we will continue to push for ambitious international action to protect the environment, including through our trade agenda. Indeed, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already made it clear that the environment is one of her top three priorities for British leadership at the World Trade Organisation.

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his position on the Front Bench, having worked with him on the International Trade Committee for a couple of years. Contrary to the points being made by certain Ministers, I would say that many of us on this side of the House speak up for businesses and are very proud of the contribution that our world-beating businesses and industries make.

Carbon border taxes are an important measure not just for the environment, but for preventing carbon-intensive industries from relocating to countries with lower emissions standards and therefore a lower cost base. Can the Minister assure us that there is nothing in the deal that the Government have signed with Japan, and nothing in the deals being struck with the US in the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership—

Order. It is far too long in both cases—we will not get anyone else in at this rate. Minister, try and do the best you can.

My Department really does recognise the role that trade and tariffs can play in reducing global carbon emissions, and we are clear that trade does not have to come at the expense of the environment, but growing trade is important for so many more reasons. It delivers the things that our people care about—better jobs, higher wages, greater choice and lower prices—and our new global tariff helps to deliver those, as well as supporting the environment, by liberalising tariffs on 104 environmental goods that we are promoting.