Is European climate protection nowhere near?

The EU Commission has set high goals for climate protection. But going it alone could end up doing more harm than good. Why a climate club can be the way out of the crisis. A guest post.

The EU's footprint was 9.6 percent of global emissions in 2018: An industrial plant in Baruth, Brandenburg

Dhe European Union has made climate protection its “top political priority”. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions should be 55 percent below the 1990 level, and Europe should be climate neutral by 2050. It has not yet been decided exactly how the climate targets are to be implemented, but one thing is clear: they can only be achieved if carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) are subject to significantly higher prices. The more expensive it is for power plants and industry, but also for consumers, to emit CO2, the greater the incentive to switch to low-emission technologies. Experts consider CO2 prices of more than 100 euros per ton of emissions to be necessary.

The EU sees itself as a pioneer and wants to achieve the climate targets even if other large emitters fail to follow suit. To safeguard its policy, the EU Commission wants to introduce a border adjustment system that charges imported goods with the European CO2 price. Without such a border adjustment, it would be cheaper to produce CO2-intensive goods abroad, where they are not subject to a CO2 price. These goods would be increasingly imported. So there would be “carbon leakage”, a mere shift of CO2 emissions abroad.