By Shaun Tandon
WASHINGTON (AFP) - India has warned against rich nations using climate change as a pretext for protectionism as the United States and France consider imposing environment taxes.
India's chief climate negotiator, Shyam Saran, was in Washington for talks with the new administration of US President Barack Obama, whom he praised for putting a new emphasis on halting the warming of the planet.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- hoping to ease concerns that climate action would worsen the US recession -- has suggested slapping a tariff on imports from nations that do not require emissions cuts to "level the playing field."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy seconded the view on Tuesday, saying he favored a carbon tax on imports from countries with lower environmental standards than his own.
Saran, addressing the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: "Most developing countries will argue that we are already starting with a very unlevel playing field."
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