South Africa: Coming Soon to a Car Dealership Near You - Anyone for a Tax-Dodging Electric Bakkie?

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Right, hold tight, this is a mouthful. The 'Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the 30th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change hosted by India on 8th April 2021' is not exactly a cracking read, but point number 19 is rather interesting. In it, the BASIC countries' environment ministers 'expressed grave concern regarding the proposal for introducing trade barriers, such as unilateral carbon border adjustment, that are discriminatory and against the principles of Equity and CBDR-RC'.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Of course, this is unintelligible, but what it contains is the most serious skirmish in a brewing trade dispute between China, India, Brazil and the EU. We are the wag-'n-bietjie caught on China's sock along for the ride, helping to make up the BASIC nations, which are the BRICS nations without Russia - that is, Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

What did Minister Barbara Creecy of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment object to? She objected to the concept of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). In English, it's a border tax established by the EU to protect its future carbon-compliant industries from cheaper imports from jurisdictions that don't have such strong environmental legislation...

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