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Gabriel is wrong of course. At least if the goal is to protect the climate.
The EU should refuse to do ANYTHING further to protect the climate, unless most other countries to which our industries can potentially be outsourced agree on an international climate protection treaty. Currently exceptions e.g. on steel mills and concrete producers are helping the climate, not damaging it.

Gabriel repeatedly praised the US before, again in the linked interview. This proves his dumbness, and that the EU has gone too far wrt climate protection. Even he recognises changes in policies more than the policies itself. If this is reflected in international treaties, the EU will always have to make much stronger comittments than other blocks. This is not just unfair, but at some point the EU won't be able to fulfill stricter treaties, while others would have still room to go.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 04:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you could simply impose import duties on "carbon-rich" goods like steel and cement from countries that do nothing to tax carbon at home.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 02:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This would be a good idea, but one can have doubts if this is sufficient.

E.g. if we export steel to the US and China exports steel to the US, EU import duties won't do anything. Only if the economies, that take part in the treaty are much bigger than those outside the treaty, such import duties will force producers to comply with the rules.
And especially for some energy rich industrial products emerging markets are today even more important customers than the developed world. So only protecting the industries from competition in our own markets won't do the job. It maybe an option if everything else fails.

After all, I don't see any reason, why Europe should sacrifice political good will (e.g. abolishing WTO rules) and economic well being (e.g. due to devaluation of our experience and the capital bound in the factories) to pressure countries that will suffer much more through droughts and storms into climate protection. It is in their own interest and the strongest tool to convince is to say we won't act responsible, if you are not as well.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 11:57:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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