A Green Deal, Open to the World

Författare: Engström Mats

From carbon tariffs to energy taxes, the EU’s climate and environment policies have consequences across the world, and Europe is dependent on the rest of the world for raw materials, investment and expertise for its green transition. The package as a whole, argues SIEPS Senior Advisor Mats Engström, is unlikely to succeed without more engagement, especially with countries in the Global South. (2022:10epa)

This week governments from around the world will meet in Stockholm to plan the ‘urgent action’ needed to ensure that the earth remains a liveable planet. The EU’s current efforts in this area are known as the ‘Green Deal’, over fifty initiatives aiming to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and arrest and reverse environmental degradation. This European Policy Analysis examines the impact of these policies on developing countries, and asks what more the EU can do to bring about mutual benefits for the union and its partners.

The world’s focus has – understandably – been on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and before that it was on the COVID-19 pandemic. But the challenge of changing our forms of production, distribution and consumption to safeguard our future has not gone away. EU Member States are responsible for much of the historical emissions and the environmental damage, but they also have the wealth, tools and will needed to reduce climate and environmental impact. Meanwhile developing countries are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and are liable, as they develop, to have vastly greater impact than at present.

On the basis of the scholarly literature and on interviews with policymakers and subject experts, Engström presents some of the impacts of the Green Deal beyond the EU; the consequences, in this field, of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and suggests some ways the EU can better work with its partners to maximize the chance of success. Among these concrete policy proposals are: more systematic analysis of the impacts of the Green Deal; early dialogue; greater coherence across policy areas such as aid, trade and industrial policy; more equal partnerships; keeping promises on climate finance, and intensified cooperation when it comes to the industrial transition which countries north and south require to maintain and increase their living standards.