The European Union rolled out a plan this week to impose “climate tariffs” against countries that lack aggressive emissions-reduction policies, potentially presaging a trade conflict that could complicate the fight against global warming.
Not to be outdone, Senate Democrats as part of a sprawling $3.5 trillion infrastructure and climate spending plan this week pledged to impose a “polluter import fee” on exporters of carbon-intensive goods, though it is far less detailed than the EU’s plan.
Taken together, the moves show that government leaders are embracing mixing protectionist trade policy with combating global warming, an issue that requires international cooperation to address.
“Depending on how it evolves, you could have a situation where this could undermine the possibility of forming a carbon club between the U.S. and its allies,” said George David Banks, a international climate adviser to former President Donald Trump who is now a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
In releasing details of its