France sees EU-US push for carbon tax under Biden

Environment minister Barbara Pompili expects more pressure on China over climate pledges

Victor Mallet and David Keohane in Paris DECEMBER 3 2020

Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House in January will give the EU and the US the chance to push for international carbon taxes and face down opposition to the idea from China, according to French environment minister Barbara Pompili.

Outlining France’s ambitious plans for joint action to limit global warming now that Donald Trump is on his way out, Ms Pompili welcomed Mr Biden’s promise to rejoin the Paris accord and contrasted the difficulty of tackling the climate crisis with solutions for the Covid-19 pandemic. “Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine for the climate,” she told the Financial Times in an interview. 

Both Mr Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron — who once urged Americans to “make our planet great again” in an ironic allusion to Mr Trump’s election slogan — regard persuading China to fulfil its climate promises as crucial to limit global warming. 

Ms Pompili said of Mr Biden’s pronouncements on carbon pricing and border adjustment mechanisms: “This is an area where we’ll be able to work together, since we are pushing it at the European level and in dealings with countries such as China, which make a certain number of pledges, but don’t want to commit themselves to this type of mechanism.”  She said there should be a “green level playing field” so that “the efforts we demand of our businesses to lower their carbon emissions and change their practices are not all thwarted by campaigns from countries like China that would make our efforts pointless”. 

Continue reading further on the Financial Times Website.