Germany plans EU ‘climate club’ with US, Japan and China

LISBON (Reuters) – Germany wants the European Union to create a “climate club” with countries like the United States, Japan and maybe even China to avoid trade frictions over green tariffs such as a border carbon levy.

German Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Saturday after talks with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the current holder of the rotating EU presidency, that Europe must engage with countries to agree on common rules and common standards on how to reduce carbon emissions.

Scholz said climate protection measures would impact the competitiveness of German and European companies, especially those in energy-intensive sectors.

“And so it is wise not to just discuss how the European Union can do that and how we could avoid having difficulties in competing in the world market afterwards,” he said. -he declares.

The EU should approach countries such as the US, Canada, Britain, Japan and China to discuss and possibly agree on the same steps and principles.

“And to do that, it’s a good idea to discuss the creation of some kind of club, of people willing to do similar things and not competing with each other, but fighting for a better development of the climate in the world. . “

The 27 EU heads of government will hold a summit on Monday and Tuesday to discuss how they plan to meet the EU’s new climate target by 2030 – a net emission reduction of at least 55 % from 1990 levels.

The summit will set a course for the European Commission, which in July will propose a broad set of climate policies to achieve the goal, including carbon market reforms and more ambitious renewable energy targets.

In June, the European Commission is also expected to present proposals on how to expand the CO2 emissions trading scheme and protect investments in green technologies from “dirty competition” from countries with low emission policies. less rigid climate protection.

The EU said countries would be able to avoid the carbon tax proposed by the European Union if the ambition of their climate policies matched that of Europe.

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