Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, on Thursday cautioned that the European Union’s (EU’s) plans to impose carbon emission costs on imports of goods may clash with the global trade rules and threaten the safety of energy supplies worldwide.
Reuters reports that a draft document indicated that the EU planned to impose carbon emission costs on imports of goods including steel, cement and electricity, with the European Commission confirming that such a measure would be fully compliant with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
Novak, who is Russia’s former Energy Minister, reportedly told the ministry’s in-house magazine that such carbon border taxes could be extended in coming years to oil, natural gas and coal, key sources of revenues for his country.
The Deputy Prime Minister said: “Many experts believe that the introduction of (the carbon border tax) may infringe on several principles of the World Trade Organization.”
Novak also canvassed the need to seek a compromise and warned about possible interruptions of energy supplies if the proposed tax is implemented based on its present provisions.
He cautioned: “Artificial restrictive measures of the traditional fuel and energy sectors may reduce the profitability and investment attractiveness of the sector, and as the result, the threat to the safety of energy supplies will emerge.”