BRUSSELS / WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The United States and the European Union agreed on Tuesday (June 15) to hold talks on the bloc’s proposed carbon tariff tariff, possibly at the World Trade Organization, said EU Director General Ursula von der Leyen.
US President Joe Biden met with European Commission President von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday for a summit addressing issues ranging from trade to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Leaders also discussed climate change policy, including the EU’s plan to impose carbon emissions costs on imports of goods, including steel and cement, which the Commission will propose on next month.
“I explained the logic of our carbon border adjustment mechanism,” von der Leyen said at a post-summit press conference.
“We discussed that we are going to exchange about this. And that the WTO could facilitate that,” she said.
Brussels and Washington want to revitalize transatlantic cooperation on climate change, after four turbulent years under former President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, they presented plans for a transatlantic alliance to develop green technologies and said they would coordinate diplomatic efforts to convince other major emitters to cut their CO2 emissions faster. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas and the majority of humanity’s CO2 emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels.
But the EU border tax could still cause friction. A draft of the proposal indicated that it would apply to certain US products sold in the EU, including steel, aluminum and fertilizers.
Brussels says the policy is needed to put EU companies on a level playing field with competitors from countries with weaker climate policies, and that countries with sufficiently ambitious emission reduction policies could be exempted from the royalty fee.
The United States and the EU are respectively the second and third largest emitters of CO2 in the world, after China.
A draft EU-US summit declaration, seen by Reuters, reiterated pledges made by leaders at the G7 summit this weekend to “step up efforts” to meet a $ 100 billion overdue spending pledge ($ 133 billion) per year in rich countries to help poor countries reduce their carbon emissions and deal with global warming.
It did not include firm pledges of cash. Canada and Germany both pledged billions in new climate finance on Sunday, June 13, and activists called on Brussels and Washington to do the same.
The draft declaration also failed to set a date for the US and EU to stop burning coal, the most polluting fossil fuel and the biggest greenhouse gas emitter.
Brussels and Washington have said they will largely eliminate their CO2 emissions from power generation by the 2030s.