Europe rolls out ambitious climate change plan, but obstacles loom


The carbon border tax could not only disrupt global trade and spark a dispute over protectionism within the World Trade Organization, it could also create new diplomatic fault lines ahead of the Glasgow climate talks.

The rally in Glasgow is an important moment for major polluting nations to show what they will do to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions that have put the world on a dangerous warming path. Scientists have said the world as a whole needs to halve emissions by 2030, forcing the biggest polluters in history – the United States and Europe – to make the biggest reductions. important and fastest. All eyes are on the targets set by the United States and China, which currently produce the largest share of greenhouse gases.

Although the European Union produces only around 8% of current global carbon emissions, its cumulative emissions since the start of the industrial age are among the highest in the world. But as a huge market, it also sees itself as an important regulatory power for the world and hopes to lead by example, invent new technologies that it can sell and deliver new global standards that can lead to a carbon neutral economy. .

The United States has pledged to cut emissions by 40-43% over the same period. Britain, which will host COP-26, international climate talks, in November, has pledged a 68% cut. China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has only said it is aiming for peak emissions by 2030.

“Europe was the first continent to declare itself climate neutral in 2050, and now we are the very first to put a concrete roadmap on the table,” Ms von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

The Executive Vice-President of the Commission, Frans Timmermans, in charge of the environment and the European “Green Deal”, recognizes the difficulty of the challenge. “We are going to ask a lot of our citizens,” he said. “We’re also going to be asking a lot of our industries, but we’re doing it for a good cause. We are doing it to give humanity a chance to fight.

Mr Timmermans considers these proposals to be of fundamental importance for the creation of a new economy. “As far as the direction Europe is going, it could actually be of the same nature as the internal market or the euro,” he said.


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