German climate policy needs international scope to succeed, says economic expert council

A council of Germany's economic advisors have recommended that German climate policy needs an international scope to succeed. EPA-EFE/KAY NIETFELD / POOL

Germany should put more emphasis on international cooperation in the fight against climate change, the country’s Council of Economic Experts said in its annual report, Clean Energy Wire (CLEW) reports.

“International climate policy must be given greater focus. Only if we succeed in scaling up climate-friendly technologies quickly, and open up climate-friendly growth prospects for developing and emerging countries as well, can we reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement,” said council member Veronika Grimm.

For progress to be made in global cooperation, burden-sharing from advanced economies for developing and emerging economies should be strengthened, according to the council, which advises policymakers.

Transfers from advanced economies should specifically strengthen local frameworks to reduce policy uncertainty for private investment, the economists argued. “Private investment will be needed globally and on a large scale to achieve climate neutrality,” Grimm said.

“Technology cooperation and the joint development of climate-friendly value chains must be the focus of international efforts. If burden sharing and technological cooperation succeed in opening up sustainable growth prospects for developing and emerging countries, climate protection could be accelerated globally and the costs of avoiding emissions reduced,” she added.

In addition to cooperation under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), cooperation within smaller groups of states is an important option for realising progress in climate protection, the report said.

“Such cooperation can create benefits for the partners that go beyond climate protection. For example, bilateral technology partnerships between states can offer companies the opportunity to test and scale climate-friendly technologies at an early stage,” the experts said.

“Investment protection agreements have an important role to play in mobilising the necessary investments. Trade agreements should take into account the close linkages between trade and climate.”

SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, who could take over the German government’s leadership in December, has pushed for the establishment of an international climate alliance aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

This “climate club” would also seek to protect the economies of countries that oblige their companies to comply with climate protection requirements.

Germany's Scholz proposes ‘climate club’ to avoid trade friction

Germany wants the European Union to create a “climate club” with other countries like the United States, Japan and possibly even China to avoid trade friction linked to green tariffs such as a planned carbon border levy.

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]

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