The EU is no longer the world leader on climate policies. Other major countries have caught up or even outpaced the EU, a new briefing paper conducted by Germanwatch says. Even the U.S. and China now show at least as much headway in their climate change policies as the EU. This situation is highly problematic, as in the past EU climate action did encourage both OECD and Non-OECD countries around the world to take on more ambitious action.
Returning to its role as a climate leader would, however, be beneficial for European competitiveness, according to the Germanwatch study. The EU urgently needs a more comprehensive decarbonisation approach that combines protective elements for those industry sectors really adversely affected by stricter climate regulation with a state-backed framework for an investment and innovation strategy. Such a new strategy could become the cornerstone of a sustainable economic recovery in the EU.
The briefing paper by Germanwatch counters arguments brought forward by industry lobby organisations in Germany and other EU countries that the EU is too much of a climate leader and that other big emitter countries have not followed its lead.
Christoph Bals, Charlotte Cuntz, Oldag Caspar, Jan Burck