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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Energy Commissioner Oetinger to EuroFora: Carbon Tax at EU borders = RES stimulant? (June Summit)

EU Energy Commissioner Oetinger to EuroFora: Carbon Tax at EU borders = RES stimulant? (June Summit)

Written by ACM
Saturday, 17 April 2010
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An anti-Carbon, CO2-based Financial Adjustment at EU's External Borders against Environmental Dumping by Foreign Countries who don't respect Climate protection rules as EU Companies, could act as an incitment to adopt "clean" Renewable Energy sources (RES), where EU could help by Technology transferts, EU Commissioner on Energy, Gunter Oettinger from Germany, agreed with "EuroFora", while a related Carbon Tax Debate was growing also with French EU Minister Lellouch's statements, after President Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi's Letter to EU Commission's Head, Barroso, in view of EU's forthcoming Summit in Brussels on June.


 - "Eurofora" asked Oettinger if he finds that "a good Incitment to advance towards "Clean", Renewable Energy Technologies", "could be ..the idea to study a Financial Adjustment in the External Borders of the EU, against CO2 Pollution" by Foreign Countries, that EU could help by Technology Transferts : "Issues for June's EU Summit on which French President Sarkozy with German Chancelor Merkel have spoken several times, recently also with Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi".


- "I think, Yes !", the competent EU Commissioner on Energy replied to "EuroFora"s question positively.


- "There are some Details, that we (EU) have to Discuss", Oettinger advised, apparently open to Debate, without excluding any possibility for the moment.


- "Not all is decided" yet, "but..." it will go on, he said on the anti-Carbon Dumping Financial Adjustment at EU Borders, carefuly but optimistically.


CO2-"clean" Technology Transferts by the EU, mainly to Developing Countries, are also expected by the EU  according to UNO Heads of State/Government December 2009 Copenhagen Summit's Agreement, where they are among the more advanced points, as  EU Commissioner on Climate, Connie Hedegaard anounced in her 1st Press Conference, last March 2010 in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, (See "EuroFora"'s publication on some from Hedegaard's replies to our Questions).

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    - At least, meanwhile, "Noone inside "EU Commission shouldn't shoot down a fundamental idea even before it's discussed, and while EU Commission is expected to present on (EU Heads of State/Government's Summit) in June a Report on a Carbon Tax at (EU) Borders",  as French Minister for EU Affairs, Pierre Lellouch, said to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora", after he was invited to react to Press Reports about a controversial reluctance attributed to EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.


    - "We (EU) face a major Global Competition, with other Poles (of development), and if the same Rules on Environment are not respected by all, we (EU) are going to Import Pollution and export Jobs !  It's not what we want : We want a Fair System", he denounced.


    - Moreover, "a Carbon Tax at the Borders already exists in U.S. Legislation,(where) the U.S. House of Representatives has already voted a text on this issue, and the American Senate is due to propose a Bill this week. Our wish simply is that the European and American Laws are put in parallel, and influence other Economic Poles. This is reasonable", Lellouch observed.


    - "So, when I saw (in some Press reports) that a Commissioner in charge of (Climate) would have anounced, urbi e orbi, that the idea was droped, even before it had been studied (by the EU's collective bodies), I say "No. This isn't right !", he concluded.


    "EuroFora" had already raised, recently, with EU Commissioner on Climate, Connie Hedegaard, the topical question if her "International Efforts ... before Bonn('s June 2010 UNO meetings) and in view of Cancun (UNO December 2010 Summit)" to exert "increasing Pressure to make it difficult for those (3rd Countries) who might not agree, ..in Mexico", as she had anounced, in the context of "an International Campaign, ...all over the World", at her 1st Press Conference, in EU Parliament's Plernary in Strasbourg last March, might be facilitated by "Proposals, (already made before Copenhagen, but even more important afterwards, in order to have some Legally Binding effects), ...to try to convince other Countries, ..by raising  ..a "Financial Adjustment" at EU's Borders,  "if there is .."Enviromental Dumping" in External Economic Relations" by disregard of Climate protection rules.


    The main thrust of Hedegaard's reply to "EuroFora"s question on March was not to exclude a CO2 Financial Adjustment at EU Borders in Future, but to "question" if it was "the right Time", or not, as long as there were still hopes, then, to include more big polluting countries in UNCCC's efforts to reach an agreement at December 2010's Summit in Mexico.  Something which, afterwards, reportedly appeared to be rather impossible, as UNO's Officials warned.  But, meanwhile, Global Warming was reportedly continuing f.ex. by melting Poles' ice, while it was unclear what could be really expected by those who preferred to wait until a non-specified Time limit... (See relevant "EuroFora"'s NewsReport : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/fromcopenhagentomexico.html )

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    Meanwhile, in a joint Letter by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy  to EU Commission's President Jose Barroso, the two leaders stress that "it would be Unacceptable for the ..ambitious efforts that we agreed in the EU for the reduction of WarmHouse effect Gas emissions, as it was decided at the EU (Heads of State/Government) Summit of December 2008, to be compromised by CO2 leaks resulting from the absence or the insufficiency of certain 3rd Countries' actions".


    - Therefore, "it seems necessary for the (forthcoming EU) Commission's Report to fix, without "a priori", the Conditions in which could be established an Adjustment Mechanism at EU's Borders", they underline.


    - "This Mechanism" could "incite 3rd Countries to adopt Measures to reduce their (Gas) emissions", because "everyone would know that, if he refuses to undertake sufficient commitments, .. his products would face a (Financial) Compensation equivalent to EU's scheduled efforts. It we didn't (adopt such a Mechanism), this would be as if one created a strange incitment to never undertake such commitments", the 2 leaders observe, (according also to the question raised by "EuroFora" to Hedegaard on early March : See supra).


     - "Therefore, this is an indispensable tool, that the EU must be able to use if we want to preserve the integrity of our Environmental efforts, while also ensuring the commitment of our main Partners", they conclude. "Fair Trade meets here the struggle against Climate Change".


    - "In the U.S.A., similar measures were introduced in Bills currently under examination", while "available Studies, as a joint Report prepared by WTO and UNPE Secretariats on June 2010, show that it can be possible to meet the necessary condition" for "any such Adjustment Mechanism at the Borders to be fully Compatible with WTO Rules".


    Reminding Barroso's "confirmation, at the last" (March 2010) EU Summit, that EU "Commission will present, next June, a Report to evaluate if some Industrial sectors are exposed to an important risk of Carbon leaks, together with appropriate Proposals",  the Franco-Italian Leaders' letter stresses that its very "important for the Report that the Commission will present on June, in particular on the Adjustment Mechanism at EU's Borders,... to usefuly contribute to EU Heads of State/Government Summit's work on the Means to advance in our action in favor of the struggle against Climate Change.

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    ( See also other, more extensive Statements by EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger, to "EuroFora", on other topical issues, in another NewsReport).

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