The French president has reiterated his call for a European carbon tax on the EU’s borders to guarantee fair competition for companies taking action to reduce their climate impact. The idea – which featured in T&E’s report, Can trade and investment policy support ambitious climate action?, last month – has been gathering momentum and was previously endorsed by IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman.
When the European Commission published its five-year ‘Trade for All Strategy’ in October 2015, there was hope that trade policy could be overhauled. Building on our analysis of the ‘Trade for All Strategy’ from February 2016, we have graded the Commission's achievements to date. Our overall assessment gives the Commission a D grade. Although some good progress was made, there is significant room for improvement. We acknowledge that while the Commission’s attitude is going in the right direction, application of the real deliverables remains to be seen.
EU governments should level the playing field between companies in countries taking action on climate change and those in countries that are not by levying special import fees, according to a new report on how trade policy can support climate action. A carbon border tax adjustment (CBTA) would be based on the price of carbon – in existing carbon markets such as the EU emissions trading system – and should be levied on goods and services from countries which do not put an equivalent price on carbon, the report by the Trade Justice Movement and Transport & Environment (T&E) says.
Since the 1990s, international climate agreements have largely taken a country-by-country approach to mitigating climate change. However, in recent years, the conclusion of numerous bilateral or regional trade and investment agreements has led to an exponential growth in the global flows of goods and capital across borders. This growth has translated into a significant increase in emissions that cannot be bound to a single country. Thus, actions designed to tackle climate change require a new set of tools and strategies. The following joint-report offers a set of complementary options that could be implemented to tackle climate impacts.
An enforceable set of sustainable development requirements should be written into all free trade agreements that the EU concludes. That is the recommendation from a paper by T&E which draws on research conducted two years ago when discussions on the ‘TTIP’ EU-US trade deal were at their height.
Sustainable development has become one of the EU’s essential goals and is now a guiding principle for both its internal and external policies. As part of this ambition, the European Commission includes specific chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development in all free trade agreements (FTA) that it concludes with third country partners. Due to the controversy surrounding trade in recent years (for example, TTIP and CETA), the European Commission has started to recognise that there needs to be stronger coherence between trade and development policies. This paper looks at how the Trade and Sustainable Development chapters could play a crucial role in this.
The EU should make preferential access to the single market conditional on the UK agreeing to respect EU environmental standards and climate targets after Brexit, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The UK government must not be allowed to engage in “environmental dumping” to give Britain an edge over its EU trade partners, the NGO’s report, Putting the Environment at the Heart of Brexit, has found.
The European Union and the United Kingdom are negotiating an agreement to ensure the UK’s orderly exit out of the Union and to agree on their future relationship. During the current Brexit negotiations, the European Commission has stated multiple times that its primary focus is on citizens and their rights and as negotiations proceed, the interests of business and market stability will be addressed. But where, then, does the environment feature? This report sets out the guiding principles for putting the environment at the heart of the Brexit talks.
During his campaign, French President Macron made commitments to convene an expert group to review and assess the EU-Canada free trade agreement (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA for short). The experts from French universities engaged with business and civil society throughout the summer. Transport & Environment was invited to discuss the impact on energy, international transport, climate, public policy development and democracy.