UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt is considering imposing an emissions levy on steel imports to help shield British manufacturers from slumping demand and high energy prices, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Hunt is looking into the possibility of adding the levy, called a carbon border adjustment mechanism, with the aim of protecting the carbon-intensive steel industry, the person said. The Financial Times first reported the plans.
The government previously said it would consult on a range of options to tackle the issue of “carbon leakage” — carbon emissions produced in manufacturing imported products. The European Union reached a deal to set up its own mechanism late last year, with the aim of ensuring its own pollution standards aren’t undermined by trading partners with weaker ones.
The UK is poised to deliver a £300 million ($372 million) package aimed at helping British Steel cut its carbon emissions and prevent thousands of job losses. The funds are contingent on the steelmaker’s owner, China’s Jingye Group, transitioning blast furnaces at its site in Scunthorpe, northern England, to a more environmentally-friendly electric arc furnace.