Minister dismisses UK carbon tariff threat

·1-min read

Australia's resources minister has downplayed the threat of the United Kingdom slapping carbon tariffs on energy-intensive imports.

The sanctions could have a devastating impact on Australia's raw material trade.

But Keith Pitt dismissed the likelihood of Britain linking exports to countries' climate policies.

"I'm thinking about whether I can lose wait and get better looking, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"Britain's policies are a matter for Britain. In this country, the government of the day sets the policies for Australia.

"That's what we will continue to do, we will act in Australia's interests, we will continue to work with our trading partners."

Mr Pitt refused to confirm whether the Australian government was looking at the likelihood of the European Union, Britain and United States imposing carbon levies on imports.

"It's a nice try but I won't be breaching cabinet solidarity or cabinet confidence," he said.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan has previously described carbon tariffs as "a new form of protectionism".

Australia is expected to push back against Britain's bid to use an upcoming leaders' summit to advocate for climate tariffs.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated it will be a key priority at the G7 summit in June.

Mr Johnson has directed British government departments to come up with options for carbon border levies.

The European Union has also been pushing for carbon tariffs to be applied on imported goods produced in countries with weaker climate laws.

It has already committed to introducing a carbon border tax by 2023.

US President Joe Biden has also spoken of endorsing a "carbon adjustment fee" at the American border.