Complete News World

Europe leads the way in decarbonizing the economy -

Europe leads the way in decarbonizing the economy –

Since Sunday, attempts have been made at the climate conference in Egypt to determine the course of future global climate policy. EURACTIV spoke to Lee Beck, Senior Director for Europe of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), about the EU’s landmark climate policy and groundbreaking “methane tariffs” that will take effect in the US from 2024.

The CATF is best known for its work in monitoring and raising awareness of the super-methane greenhouse gas, but the NGO also monitors climate policies in the European Union and the United States.

“Europe has traditionally sought to become a climate superpower,” Beck said. She added that the European Union had paid off by “introducing unprecedented climate policies”.

As world leaders and climate activists gather in Sharm el-Sheikh for COP27 – the United Nations Global Climate Change Conference – EU officials have a long record of tackling climate change.

The European Union Emissions Trading System – also known as ETS – has been around for years. In 2019, the European Union adopted the Clean Energy package for all Europeans, followed shortly thereafter by the European Union Climate Act and the Fit for 55 package.

Beck explains that measures such as the use of ETS proceeds for investment, the EU’s fuel rules for sea and air transport, and the EU’s work on a direct decarbonization certification mechanism “are all pioneering measures.”

She added that the EU was “really a pioneer in how we can build an economy with climate goals and industrial decarbonization.”

In the summer of 2022, the United States also tried to catch up with Europe. At that time, the Biden administration launched the $738 billion Inflation Reduction Act. This is also the most comprehensive climate protection law in the country, providing $369 billion for energy security and climate change.

“The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), along with the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, is the largest climate action ever implemented in the United States,” Beck said.

Beck anticipates that the IRA should change things in more ways than one.

“For Europe, the Inflation Reduction Act represents a turning point, as a significant amount of investment is expected to flow into the United States because the United States [steuerlichen] “Incentives affect the supply chain and production,” Beck says.

The European Union already has its displeasure With a lot of package He noted and raised concerns about tax cuts that could distort competition.

“In the US, we don’t have long-term regulatory incentives or long-term policy signals for asset transfers,” said the CATF president.

Beck argued that Europe could learn from the United States in this regard in terms of achieving industrial decarbonization and a faster fuel transition.

“It is a clear reminder for Europe to pursue a different, more forward-looking industrial policy,” she said.

Reduce methane emissions

Methane is widely recognized as a major contributor to climate change, heating the planet about 27 times more than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Given the short-term effects, methane turns out to be more harmful: over a 20-year period, it is 86 times more polluted than carbon dioxide.

The United States will also address the methane problem. “The Inflation Reduction Act calls for a methane tax in 2024,” Beck said.

according to Congressional Research Service Companies that are required to report their emissions (mostly companies that produce fossil fuels) will soon have to pay big fees for methane emissions.

Fees start at $900 per ton of methane and rise to $1,500 after two years. For the first time, the government directly imposes a tax, fee or tax on greenhouse gas emissions.

Methane reduction in livestock production faces a practical test

While there are already some ways to reduce methane emissions from livestock, the European Parliament now faces the challenge of creating a policy framework for introducing these tools and technologies into agriculture.

global climate club

In June, Germany’s presidency of the Group of Seven managed to reach a tentative agreement between the world’s richest industrialized nations to create a climate club. The idea is that nations can meet there that are serious about fighting climate change.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) could give the idea extra life.

“The IRA and what Europe is doing to become a climate superpower, regulate, create standards and fund innovations, are paving the way for a shared vision with the Climate Club,” Beck explained.

This will be crucial because countries outside the “West” will need to join in.

“An important point that we sometimes forget is that clean Europe or clean America, and a clean West, is not the end goal. It is just the beginning.”

“Because most of the emissions growth will come from emerging markets.”

Leveraging “smart international partnerships” and “getting done” should be part of a “real long-term climate strategy.”

“This is just the beginning of how investing in innovation can reduce costs and increase access to these technologies,” Beck said.

[Bearbeitet von Alice Taylor und Frédéric Simon]