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China: carbon tariff could trigger trade war
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17:46, July 03, 2009

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China criticizes the carbon tariff proposals on imports put forward by some developed countries as something inconsistent with the WTO rules, claiming it is de facto protectionism in the name of environmental protection.

Yao Jian, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on July 3 that China strongly opposes the proposal. He warned that the tariff, once imposed, could disturb the world trade order and trigger trade war.

Some countries and international organizations have been touting the idea of imposing tariffs on imports from countries without quantitative emission reduction targets.

The US House of Representative, for example, passed such a bill last month, calling for such actions from 2020.

The carbon tariff proposal is not in compliance with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” between developed countries and developing countries defined by the Kyoto Protocol. Thus the tariff will “severely impair the interest of developing countries”, said Yao.

The carbon tariff will not help to reinforce the confidence of the international community on cooperation on tackling the financial crisis, nor will it help to consolidate the joint efforts by various countries on climate change negotiations, he added.

According to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, climate change will be one of the major topics at the meeting between the G8 and emerging economies, including China, to be held in L'Aquila, central Italy from July 8 to 10. Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the meeting. China is willing to work with other countries on reaching a consensus on that issue to prepare for the world conference on climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

China has set the goal of 20 percent reduction of energy consumption in GDP and 10 percent reduction of main pollutant emission by 2010.

According to the Kyoto Protocol, by 2012, the EU, the US and Japan are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 8 percent, 7 percent and 6 percent respectively over that in 1990. However, the US withdrew from the Protocol in 2001.

The EU has decided to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 20 percent by 2020.

By People's Daily Online

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