According to a new paper by the University of California, Berkeley, high carbon-emitting industries have much lower import taxes than cleaner industries. These “dirty” industries essentially get a $80 to $120 subsidy for every ton of carbon dioxide produced, due to existing trade policy grants. While this “environmental bias” in trade policy is good for automobile and technology companies, since these reduced tariffs apply to raw materials like steel and aluminum, it’s deadly for life on the planet.
In this extraordinary climate emergency, this policy is another example of outrageous priorities. We need to be working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, not subsidizing them. Trade policies that benefit large, highly polluting industries are just one more way that we see what politicians really value – return on capital investment, corporate profit. But we if want an Earth to live on, we’ll have to prioritize life on the planet instead. It’s their profits against life on Earth.
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