France proposes common US-EU rules for green finance

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry (L) and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (R) hold a joint press conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, 10 March 2021. [EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON]

Europe and the United States should agree on common rules to determine how ‘green’ a financial investment is, France’s finance minister has said after talks with US President Joe Biden’s climate envoy.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday (9 March) that in addition to a common taxonomy for green investments, it was important to launch discussions with Washington on carbon border tax adjustments.

“I proposed to (Special Envoy) John Kerry that Europe and the United States have an identical taxonomy,” Le Maire told a news conference. “It would be a shame if at the end of the day we had two sets of rules in Europe and the United States.”

“That would be a source of considerable confusion between our two continents.”

Asked to respond to the separate suggestion of a carbon border adjustment tax, Kerry said Washington was aware that a number of countries were investigating such a tool.

Such a tax essentially consists of import fees levied by carbon-taxing countries on goods manufactured in non-carbon-taxing countries.

“There are a number of different proposals to assign a price on carbon and the methane and the greenhouse gases creating this damage. Whether or not we think that’s the right tool or not we have not yet been able to sit down and evaluate that.”

[Edited by Josie Le Blond]

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