UK should introduce carbon border tax, says free-market think tank

A think tank with close ties to the Conservative Party has called on the government to tackle ‘carbon leakage’ by introducing a tax on imported electricity and carbon-intensive goods.

In a new briefing, the Centre for Policy Studies says that the UK’s claim to run an increasingly ‘coal-free’ grid is undermined by electricity imports from the Netherlands, which is home to three coal plants that were only completed in 2015 and itself imports electricity from Germany’s coal-dependent grid.

“When the UK claims to be reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, it is often simply offshoring them, for example by increasing its imports of electricity generated from European coal and gas while using statistical sleight-of-hand to ignore the carbon emissions involved,” the briefing warns.

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