By Irina Slav
Last week, while we were all watching oil prices, the European parliament voted for three emission-reduction policies aimed at helping the bloc meet its climate targets, which is the new ultimate goal of Europe, apparently. Perhaps it’s time to turn it into videogame. But I digress.
The three policies include a hike in the emission reduction target of its carbon market to 63% by 2030, which should happen by accelerating what is effectively a slow phase-out of carbon permits, removing free carbon permits by 2032, and replacing them with a tool aimed at maintaining the competitiveness of European businesses: import tariffs. Also, the carbon market was expanded to include maritime transport. Congratulations to the shipping industry.
Just a couple of days after the vote, which also touchingly includes the idea of a fund made up of revenues from carbon trade, to be used to help poorer European households switch to clean energy, Germany reportedly asked its fellow G7 members to reconsider their tough stance on fossil fuels.
That’s right, if unnamed Bloomberg sources can be trusted, Germany has asked G7 to reconsider its decision to suspend investments in overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of this year as a means of accelerating emission-cutting and climate target achievement.
Indeed, these sources are to be trusted because Reuters later confirmed the discussions, citing more unnamed sources who said several G7 leaders were behind the idea of “an acknowledgement of the need for new financing for fossil energies investments”.
The Bloomberg sources presented a draft document of the German idea, which apparently contained quotes such as this one: that the G7 should “acknowledge that publicly supported investment in the gas sector is necessary as a temporary response to the current energy crisis”, with the hedge that investment in new fossil fuel projects overseas had to be done “in a manner consistent with our climate objectives and without creating lock-in effects.”
Translation: Have cake/emission reduction targets. Eat it/invest in fossil fuels because people need energy now. They really need it now…