ALGIERS - Carbon taxes discriminate against energy producing states so OPEC members oppose them, Algeria's energy minister said, adding his country was wary of European plans for huge solar power investment in North Africa.
Some developed countries have imposed, or plan to impose, taxes on carbon emissions as part of efforts to slow climate change.
Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil, whose country is the world's eighth biggest oil exporter and fourth biggest exporter of gas, said on Wednesday carbon taxes would cut into the revenues of energy producers and make energy imports more expensive for developing countries.
There is a consensus that is very clear. The countries of OPEC have been working for a very long time on this issue, he said on Algerian state radio. The producers will be penalized.
This tax is discriminatory with regard to gas and oil and is not in the interests of producing countries and is also not in the interest of developing countries, said Khelil, a former president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Khelil also expressed skepticism about Desertec, a 400 billion euro ($581.4 billion) plan by a consortium including Siemens, E.ON and RWE to generate solar electricity in North Africa for export to Europe.
He said the project was part of a forced march to persuade Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to build solar power infrastructure for Europe.
The problem for us, as a producing country, is that we already have a source of energy which is gas, Khelil said. It (solar power) will not be cheaper than the energy which we produce at the moment.
He also said EU countries had shown in the past they were not keen to give outsiders access to their power markets.
The day when we come to export this solar electricity, will they open up all their markets? ... That is the question.
The Algerian government's participation in the project would give Desertec access to well-developed power infrastructure and the enormous, empty expanses of the Sahara desert.
Khelil said earlier this year that Algeria would consider cooperation on solar power under the right terms but does not want foreign companies exploiting solar energy from our land.
(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Anthony Barker)