Business Daily Media

Our trade talks with Europe and Britain are set to become climate talks

  • Written by Bruce Wilson, Director of the European Union Centre, RMIT University
image

Climate change is set to become an inescapable part of negotiations now underway over an Australia-European Union free trade agreement[1], and also negotiations over the Australia-UK agreement[2] necessitated by Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Both agreements are needed to help shore up the world trading system which has been without an effective enforcement system following the decision of the Trump administration to withdraw support from the World Trade Organisation[3].

In public, the major issue in the EU negotiations has been its determination to enforce so-called “geographical indications[4]”, which limit the use of common names for products such as “champagne”, “feta” and “prosecco” to products made in those places, over and against our access to the wealthy EU market.

Read more: Key trade rules will become unenforceable from midnight. Australia should be worried[5]

An agreement protecting the integrity of both French and Australian wine regions has been in place for more than 25 years. The EU wants to extend it to cheese, other foodstuffs and other beverages.

But it’s climate change that’s likely to be the biggest sticking point, with Australia appearing to drag its feet on its Paris commitments[6], and our catastrophic bushfires drawing the world’s attention to our government’s record.

Australia will be pressured on climate

Britain will host this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference[7], in Glasgow in November.

The European Union is embracing climate action as a matter of policy, partly for environmental reasons and partly as an element of what it sees as economic sustainability.

In January, under the new leadership of Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission launched what it called the European Green Deal[8].

It aims to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050, committing to a trillion-Euro public-private fund to transitions away from carbon. Crucially, it embeds climate action into trade policy.

We might face carbon border adjustments

The most intriguing, and complex, proposal is for a “carbon border adjustment[9]” – a tax, levied on imports from countries without carbon pricing mechanisms.

The Commission also requires ratifying and effectively implementing the Paris Climate Accords as a precondition of trade agreements.

France has been especially bellicose on this point. In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged not to “sign commercial agreements” with nations that did not respect the Paris Agreement.

In November 2019 the French Foreign Minister insisted the Australia-Europe trade agreement include both ambitious climate targets and sanctions for failing meet them.

Read more: Arrogance destroyed the World Trade Organisation. What replaces it will be even worse[10]

In November, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham fobbed off the French demands, insisting that Australia would meet its targets without difficulty, a statement that might have said more about government messaging to a domestic audience than the state of progress.

Also complicating the talks is the requirement that once negotiations are concluded, the deal still needs the approval of the European Parliament.

Europe wants enforceable commitments

Left and Greens members have raised concerns already that the deal could result in increased Australian beef and sheep meat production which would boost methane emissions and emissions due to land clearing and transport.

Optimists in Europe see the negotiations as a way to get Australia to lift its environmental game. In an earlier round of negotiations, it reportedly pushed Australia on its poor fuel quality, labelling this a “technical barrier to trade[11]”.

Negotiations with Australia could turn into a test case for Europe’s climate strategy. Successfully holding Australia to account on its Paris commitments and turning it towards a sustainable economy would be a decisive statement for Europe’s ambitions to lead the world on the climate crisis.

Authors: Bruce Wilson, Director of the European Union Centre, RMIT University

Read more https://theconversation.com/our-trade-talks-with-europe-and-britain-are-set-to-become-climate-talks-130544

Business Today

Why A Champagne Hamper Is A Great Corporate Gift

Suppose you’re a business owner looking for the best corporate gift to give your employees or clients. Perhaps, it could be a giveaway during special occasions, such as the company’s anniversary, holidays, or corporate eve...

Why growing small businesses are rejecting traditional loans to stay afloat

Australian small businesses look for alternatives to fund growth A record number of Australian small businesses are ditching traditional bank loans to fund growth and generate cash flow. “Around 75% of businesses who come ...

The most common mistakes active travellers make that put their lives in danger

PIONEERING scale-up Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) is calling for the phasing out of historic methods that rely on crash data for managing pedestrian risk on our roads with more powerful, proactive methods enabled by...

6 charts shows key role firearms makers play in America’s gun culture

Sales of handguns have exploded in recent years. AP Photo/Sue OgrockiAmericans have blamed many culprits, from mental illness to inadequate security, for the tragic mass shootings that are occurring with increasing frequency in sc...

3 in 4 fundraisers have experienced sexual harassment on the job – often because of inappropriate behavior from donors

Sexual harassment is a common workplace hazard for nonprofit fundraisers.fizkes/iStock/Getty Images PlusWhile the #MeToo movement that raised public awareness of sexual harassment is making fewer headlines than it did in 2017 and ...

Cathay Pacific 2021 Sustainability Report

New commitments in carbon neutrality and diversity, and supporting the Hong Kong community during the pandemicThe Cathay Pacific Group has released its annual Sustainable Development Report that addresses its commitment and prog...

Business Daily Media Business Development

Why A Champagne Hamper Is A Great Corporate Gift

Suppose you’re a business owner looking for the best corporate gift to give your employees or clients. Perhaps, it could be a giveaway during special occasions, such as the company’s...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media

there's a vital way to reduce it that everyone overlooks – raise productivity

Inflation has become one of the great issues of our times. The UK’s is the highest in the G7, weighing in at 9% a year according to the most recent figures on consumer price inflation...

David McMillan, Professor in Finance, University of Stirling - avatar David McMillan, Professor in Finance, University of Stirling

Is it wrong to steal from large corporations? A philosopher debates the ethics

Mike_shots / ShutterstockIf you ask someone whether it’s okay to steal, chances are most people would say no. This absolutist approach – stealing is wrong, no matter what –...

Emma Borg, Director of the Reading Centre for Cognition Research & Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading - avatar Emma Borg, Director of the Reading Centre for Cognition Research & Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading

how a day off work affects the economy

Shutterstock/Ian FrancisThe Queen’s platinum jubilee will be celebrated across the UK with parades, picnics and street parties. But perhaps the most popular event planned to mark her 7...

Edward Thomas Jones, Lecturer in Economics, Bangor University - avatar Edward Thomas Jones, Lecturer in Economics, Bangor University

Why growing small businesses are rejecting traditional loans to stay afloat

Australian small businesses look for alternatives to fund growth A record number of Australian small businesses are ditching traditional bank loans to fund growth and generate cash flow...

Optipay CEO Angus Sedgwick - avatar Optipay CEO Angus Sedgwick

The most common mistakes active travellers make that put their lives in danger

PIONEERING scale-up Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) is calling for the phasing out of historic methods that rely on crash data for managing pedestrian risk on our roads with mor...

Simon Washington, AMAG CEO - avatar Simon Washington, AMAG CEO



NewsServices.com

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion