Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The EU has directly threatened the USA and all other countries which don’t embrace the “voluntary” Paris Agreement, by insisting ratification of the Paris Agreement be a mandatory clause in all future EU trade deals. But history suggests this is an empty threat.
EU to refuse to sign trade deals with countries that don’t ratify Paris climate change accord
Monday 12 February 2018 15:00 GMT
Trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom says Paris clause ‘needed in all EU trade agreements’
The European Union will refuse to sign trade deals with countries that do not ratify the Paris climate change agreement and take steps to combat global warming, under a new Brussels policy.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s trade chief, said a binding reference to the Paris agreement would be “needed in all EU trade agreements” from now on, noting that it had been included in a deal with Japan.
She said upcoming deals with Mexico and the South American trade bloc Mercosur would also include the clause.
European Commission spokesperson confirmed that the new EU policy would also apply to a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK – meaning Britain would risk its trade deal with the bloc were it ever to try to back out of the accord.
The move effectively means the 500-million-citizen bloc is throwing its trade might behind tackling climate change.
But the policy also means a future trade deal with the US as long as Donald Trump is in office is off the table for now. The US President has indicated that he will not sign up to the deal to cut greenhouse emissions and has said he wants to renegotiate it – a plan most other countries, including the UK, have rejected.
The EU directly named the USA in a statement a few days ago;
EU Tells Trump: No Paris Climate Deal, No Free Trade
Dave Keating , CONTRIBUTOR
FEB 8, 2018
When Donald Trump took office last year, the assumption was that the transatlantic trade and investment partnership was dead.
The controversial free trade deal between the EU and the U.S., known as TTIP, was already years in development and was a big focus in Europe, particularly with left-wing protesters who said the EU would necessarily have to lower its environmental, health and safety standards to American levels. When Trump was elected on an anti-free-trade platform in 2016, these activists found themselves in the uncomfortable position of being on the same side as the new U.S. president.
It is in this context that France’s foreign affairs minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told the French Parliament last week that his country will insist that TTIP never be revived if Trump carries through on his promise to leave the Paris Agreement.
“One of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with EU should implement the Paris Agreement on the ground,” Lemoyne said. “No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement. The U.S. knows what to expect.”
The USA currently has a $184 billion / year trade deficit with the EU.
This isn’t the first time the EU has tried using terms of trade to bully other countries into complying with their green demands. Last time it didn’t work out well for the EU.
EU aircraft carbon emissions tax crashes and burns
Anthony Watts / November 12, 2012
From the BBC comes this bit of good news:
EU suspends aircraft emissions trading rules
The European Union has agreed to suspend its rules that require airlines flying to and from airports in the EU to pay for their carbon emissions.
The rules had been unpopular with countries outside Europe such as the US, China and India.
Climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she had proposed “stopping the clock for one year”.
The EU block likes to pretend they are powerful, but the reality is the EU is falling behind in terms of their importance to global trade. Decades of high taxes and business unfriendly domestic policies have taken their toll.
Like any bully the EU has a track record of rapidly backing down when anyone stands up to them.