The European Union parliament has approved legislation that will tax imports according to the greenhouse gas emissions emitted in their manufacture. This is the last hurdle to be cleared before the plan becomes law, and it embeds climate regulation into the rules of international trade for the very first time.
The vote on Tuesday ends nearly two years worth of negotiations over the import tax. It aims to encourage economies to set a price for carbon dioxide emissions, while protecting EU manufacturers from countries who don't regulate emissions at all or as strictly. The tax credits countries that have a carbon price, and allows importers to subtract payments for overseas emissions when calculating the amount due at EU borders.