Border Carbon Adjustment Tariffs and Decarbonisation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Jerome Mayhew Jerome Mayhew Conservative, Broadland 5:30 pm, 16th December 2020

Border carbon adjustment: it may not trip off the tongue, but this is not a dull subject. This policy is the stuff that dreams are made of.

I ask hon. Members to imagine that, as they settle down in their beds, they start to wonder how we could create the economic environment for levelling up in our manufacturing heartlands, giving them a low-carbon head start on the rest of the world. As they turn over and start to count the fluffy sheep jumping over a fence, they catch sight of a free market that naturally seeks out the most effective way to reach carbon net zero and deliver on the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan. Finally, just as they drift off to sleep, they glimpse, as in a glass darkly, a Government leading the world at COP26, achieving an international approach that brings co-operation and rapprochement with our European and American friends and allies. Could this be real, or must it evermore remain but a dream?

Well, this is no dream, and we can turn it into reality with a border carbon adjustment. We know we need to reduce carbon to net zero by 2050, and centuries of experience have taught us that the free market is without equal in being able to solve challenging economic problems such as this. Yet, right now, our free market stands helplessly by, its creativity and innovation useless.