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23 Aug 2021, 13:29
Edgar Meza

Germany pushes for international climate club that protects industry interests

RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland

The German government is pushing for the establishment of an international climate alliance aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement, RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reports. The initiative, developed by finance minister and current Social Democratic Party (SPD) chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, would also seek to protect the economies of countries that oblige their companies to comply with climate protection requirements. The government has now agreed on the main points of the initiative, which is expected to be quickly approved by the cabinet. Germany will then approach EU partners, according to RND. The group would comprise "the most ambitious countries in the world in terms of climate policy" and address major greenhouse gas emitters and important trading partners, such as China and the US. The alliance would commit to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target and strive for climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. In addition, member states would set common rules for calculating CO₂ emissions and create uniform standards for CO₂ pricing.

The idea of a climate club to implement tough climate action is not new. It was proposed several years ago and debated at different stages – recently as a way to revive EU-U.S. cooperation.

"Practically all industrialised and emerging countries are facing the same overarching challenges: To achieve the decarbonisation of the economy, a huge technological effort is required, which can be mastered most efficiently together, through international cooperation," reads a key issues paper drawn up jointly by the finance, foreign, environment, economic affairs and economic cooperation and development ministries. The initiative would create a framework at the international level that protects the energy-intensive industries of countries that adopt strong climate policies. “An international climate alliance based on trusting cooperation – a cooperative and open climate club – can help to overcome this dilemma,” the document adds. If the alliance is big enough and conforms to common WTO-compliant rules, it can develop a global pull, it further states.

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