Saturday, July 24

The European tax against climate ‘dumping’ adds a new focus of tension for the EU with China and Russia

The European Union and NATO are targeting Russia and China. There are a multitude of open conflicts, some of which Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin recently addressed in Geneva. Furthermore, the EU has not yet found a balance with the UK, while Turkey is an unpredictable partner. However, from now on, a new reason for destabilization is added: the tax (CBAM) announced this Wednesday by Brussels within the package of measures against climate change (Fit for 55) on the import of cement, fertilizers, iron , steel, aluminum and electricity produced in countries with lower environmental standards mainly affect Beijing, Moscow, Ankara and London, the four countries with which the EU has the most open conflicts.

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“We have not done it on purpose, but the most affected countries are those with which we have the most difficult relations,” says a community source: “In the middle, Algeria will be affected by oil, and Mozambique, by aluminum. , for example. But the United States, little, because it exports few things with CO2 “.

In Brussels they are aware that the increased climatic demands on aviation and ships can create “problems with countries with which we have air relations. But what is Europe doing with all this? Regain the leadership of Kyoto, which we have been losing little by little. little. Despite not being a large emitter, Europe implements mechanisms of level playing field that allow for stronger domestic policies to balance with the rest of the world. ”

According to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, “the fight against climate change is a global effort. We have to reduce CO2 emissions not only in Europe, but everywhere. In other words, carbon has to have a price everywhere. Industry is our partner. They will invest a lot in decarbonising, and I think it is not fair that third country exporters undermine these efforts by reaching the European single market with cheap but high carbon products. It is the reason why these companies that export these products to us will pay a price for the carbon they bring to Europe. This creates a fair playing field for companies in Europe and elsewhere trying to modernize and decarbonise their businesses. From our point of view, the border carbon adjustment mechanism is an invitation to third countries to also set a price for carbon. If their producers come to our market with n clean products, you will not have to pay anything. Our goal is that, over time, everyone has to move towards a reduction in CO2 emissions. Because the planet needs it. ”

In Brussels they recall that at the Copenhagen climate summit, developing countries promised 100,000 million for developing countries to cut emissions, “but only Europe has put 28,000 million, but the rest are not complying, in particular the US. I don’t know. you can criticize us for not contributing to the funding. This issue will be final in Glasgow. ”

Borrell: “We must be vigilant with the social effects”

“The fight against climate change is going to have costs”, recognizes the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell: “It is not a lunch free, and they will appear one day or another. Therefore, we must be vigilant with the social effects and distribute the costs equitably. The costs of those affected must be compensated, especially those with the lowest incomes, and cases such as the yellow vests, which were mobilized in France against the rises in diesel, should be avoided “.

“They are going to force us to be vigilant,” Borrell continues, “the social consequences of emissions trading (ETS), the mechanism that puts a price on each ton of carbon emitted, in homes and cars. Between transport and domestic consumption accounts for 25% of emissions and compensatory mechanisms must be taken care of “.

Indeed, there is the shadow of the yellow vestsThe risk is that all the new regulations could harm the most vulnerable households. To combat this, the Commission wants to create this social fund financed with the income from the new carbon market. Its aim is to provide funding to national governments to help citizens most at risk of energy poverty or mobility.

The Social Climate Fund would be financed from the EU budget, using an amount equivalent to 25% of the expected revenue from the emissions trading of fuels for construction and road transport.

Brussels estimates that it will provide 72.2 billion euros of financing to the Member States for the period 2025-2032 – some 7.3 billion would be for Spain -, based on a specific modification of the multiannual financial framework, the EU budget. “With a proposal to take advantage of the complementary financing of the Member States, the Fund would mobilize 144,400 million euros for a socially just transition”, predicts the Community Executive.

In Brussels they are aware that “ETS are delicate, they have not always worked well due to their volatility”, and also of the problem that the obsolescence decreed for cars with combustion engines can have for families. “It is part of the capital of a family,” says a community source: “This is not a transition, we are in a creative destruction, as Schumpeter would say, capital that is going to be destroyed because we cannot allow it to continue working. We are destroying capital. to replace it with another. Creative destruction has costs, but woe to those who do not. China did not do it in XIX and missed the boat. ”

The sources explain that the main discussions in the commissary’s college have focused precisely on transport and housing, “aware of the French experience”.

“The story is not yet finished, you have to comb it”, recalls a community source, alluding that there are still “months of negotiation with governments and the European Parliament.”

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