Australia is facing growing pressure over its climate policies as the US edges closer to following the European Union in imposing new charges on imports of emissions-intensive products.
The trade minister, Dan Tehan, has criticised the EU’s new carbon tariffs, saying they are revenue raising and will undermine free trade. But Labor declared the Morrison government had its “head in the sand” and was “completely isolated” on the world stage as more countries consider such tariffs.
With a major UN climate conference looming, the government faces renewed calls to firmly commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and to pledge deeper cuts over the coming decade to convince trading parters Australia is serious about tackling the climate crisis.
Exports to Europe of cement, iron and steel, aluminium, fertiliser and electricity are the first to face potential costs from 2026 as part of sweeping new climate plans unveiled by the EU late on Wednesday night Australian time.
[Daniel Hurst and Adam Morton]