EU climate policy means exporting ’emissions’ to other parts of the world
Exporting jobs as well, in pursuit of their ‘climate ambition’ aka fantasy. EU voters should be careful what they wish for.
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The EU has an ambition of being climate neutral in 2050, says Science Daily.
It is hoped that this can be achieved through a green transition in the energy sector and CO2-intensive industries, as well as through altered consumer behavior such as food habits and travel demands among the EU population.
However, should the EU implement its most ambitious decarbonization agenda, while the rest of the world continues with the status quo, non-EU nations will end up emitting more greenhouse gases, thereby significantly offsetting the reductions of EU emissions.
This is the conclusion of a new policy brief prepared by economics experts at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics.
For every tonne of CO2 emissions avoided in the EU, around 61.5% of that tonne will in that case be emitted somewhere else in the world. This carbon leakage, as it is known, will result in a global CO2 savings of 385 kilos only.
The policy brief is based on the conclusions of a purposely-built economic model. The model, part of the EU Horizon 2020 project EUCalc, seeks to describe various pathways to decarbonizing the EU economy.
“Obviously, the EU’s own climate footprint will be significantly reduced. But the EU’s economy is intertwined with the rest of the world through trade relations, which would change as we implement a green transition in our energy sector, industries and ways of life. Part of the emissions that Europe ‘saves’ through an extensive green transition could possibly be ‘leaked’ to the rest of the world through, among other things, trade mechanisms, depending on the climate policy of other countries,” according to economist and brief co-author Professor Wusheng Yu, of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics.
“If the world beyond the EU does not follow suit and embark on a similar green transition, the decline in global greenhouse gas emissions will effectively be limited and well below the level agreed upon in EU climate policy,” adds co-author, economist and Yu’s department fellow, Francesco Clora.