Russia Worried by EU Carbon Tax: Official

A top Kremlin adviser has urged Russia’s business giants to start adapting now if they want to continue selling their wares in the European market after the EU outlined a plan to deploy a carbon border tax, Euraktiv reports.

At a press conference on Thursday (February 6), Vladimir Putin’s climate adviser Ruslan Edelgeriev, who has represented Moscow at international summits, urged Russia’s businesses to prepare for life with the border tax.

“The EU wants to push through these regulations not because they don’t like our companies, but so that their own companies don’t overstep emissions targets,” Edelgeriev said.

The European Commission aims to tax imports that do not meet certain green criteria, as part of its drive to decarbonize the economy and protect home-grown industries.

EU officials are currently working on the so-called carbon border adjustment mechanism to make sure it is compatible with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Finer points related to what products would be targeted are still to be confirmed.

But it is already on the radar of Russia, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Edelgeriev added that any businesses unwilling to adapt now would face difficulties once the tax is up and running. The Commission is due to release its proposal in 2021.

He also said that he favors regulation “because if we don’t do it, we will be shut out of external markets.”

Although the EU has hit Russia with specific sanctions after it annexed Crimea in 2014 – which the bloc decided to roll over again in December – trade between the two parties actually increased 2.2% in the first half of 2019, according to Eurostat.

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