Brussels (Brussels Morning) Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is suggesting the EU form a “climate club” with countries like Japan, the US and even China to avoid trade issues over emissions tariffs, Reuters reported on Saturday.
After meeting with Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa, Scholz underscored the need for agreement on joint standards and rules with other countries on how to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
Portugal currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
Scholz pointed out that green measures would negatively effect the competitiveness of companies in the EU, especially those involved in energy-intensive industries.
“And so it is a wise thing not just to discuss about how the EU can do this and how we could avoid to have difficulties in the competition on the global market afterwards”, he observed.
The EU should propose the idea to Canada, China, Japan, the US and the UK, Sholz said, predicting they could agree on common principles.
“And to do this, it’s a good idea to discuss about having a sort of a club, of people willing to do similar things and not competing each other, but fighting for a better climate development in the world”, he declared.
Green policy proposals
EU member states are to discuss plans for achieving the bloc’s new 2030 climate targets at this week’s summit, the aim being to lower greenhouse gas emissions 55% or more compared to 1990 levels.
The summit should provide guidance to the European Commission, which is to propose climate policies in July to achieve the new goals, including new renewable energy targets and a reform of the carbon market.
Next month, the EC is to propose changes to carbon market rules and mechanisms for protecting green investments from competition that operates under less strict environmental policies.
The EU previously announced that countries whose climate policies match the bloc’s would be exempt from the planned carbon border levy.