Europe’s big players should copy Joe Biden’s green deal – not revert to old ways
(The Guardian, 3 Feb 2023) The EU needs an ambitious climate strategy for industry. So why is Giorgia Meloni its chief supporter?
European governments have for many years basked in a sense of climate superiority over the US. We had the most ambitious climate goals; we were the constructive actor at Cop conferences; we had carbon-pricing mechanisms; and since 1990, we have reduced emissions by 28% against just 2% in the US. The US, by contrast, had climate-denying Republicans.
The Biden administration now has the world’s most generous package of climate incentives – a $370bn green subsidy package, which goes by the misnomer Inflation Reduction Act. But instead of celebrating the US handouts and tax breaks for investment in such things as electric vehicles and solar panels, many European governments are furious.
Yes, it’s good for the planet. But it’s even better for American industry as the new US green subsidies are only available for products “made in America”. The scale of financing is such that some European companies are already making plans to shift production across the Atlantic. Europe fears deindustrialisation and accuses the US of protectionism and unfair competition.