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Explainer: Why Germany is promoting a "climate club"

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Frank Jordan

Berlin (AP) — Germany hosts this year's conference of leaders from groups of seven major economies in the Associated Press, Bavaria. I am. Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused a series of crises over food, energy and international security, the conference was intended to focus on climate change.

The German government under Prime Minister Olaf Scholz is still planning to have the G7 promise joint progress in controlling global warming, and one of the ideas being discussed is the problem. When it comes to tackling, we want to speed things up.

What is a climate club?

This idea was first conceived by the Nobel Prize-winning William Nordhaus, an economist at Yale University. He said the voluntary nature of existing climate change agreements has not made sufficient progress.

He brings together countries that are serious about reducing emissions, jointly setting ambitious goals, and forming a club that mutually exempts non-members from climate-related trade tariffs. I suggested that I could do it.

"This basically works not only as a carrot but also as a stick," said Domien Vangenechten, policy adviser to the Brussels-based environmental think tank E3G.

People who may participate.

Scholz of Germany wants to put the whole G7 behind this idea. France and Italy are virtually given. Because both countries are members of the European Union, which are clubs with strong climate goals in their own right. Canada is keen to conclude a long-discussed trade agreement with the EU, and membership in a climate club may help.

The UK is skeptical that it will leave the EU in 2020 and join the deal with Brock. However, clubs that include non-EU members may be accepted in London, especially if the United States is a member.

Washington has always had problems concluding a binding agreement on climate change, especially due to Republican opposition. President George W. Bush withdrew the US signature under the 1997 Kyoto Treaty, and President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, the U.S. has returned to Paris under President Joe Biden, saying that a stand-alone approach may not be in the U.S.'s interests, especially if China wants to focus on reducing emissions. Awareness is rising.

Japan can also put pressure on its large neighbors and depend on the prospect of privileged access to markets in Europe and North America.

About China.

It is unlikely that the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters will join immediately. However, if you want to export the product to other parts of the world without imposing climate change tariffs, you may have to participate.

We look forward to Beijing's sharp criticism of this idea, as well as the EU's planned "Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism." This includes tariffs on pollutants who do not follow Block's rules. China opposed the plan and sought to mobilize other emerging economies such as South Africa and Indonesia. This is one of the reasons Schorz invited both countries to the G7 as guests and revealed that the Climate Club is open to everyone.

Ideas take off.

Experts say that so many countries need to join the club in order to be so attractive that others feel compelled to apply.

The exact details of how club rules work are still sketchy. Without a formal commitment, general support by the G7 may help bring this idea to the agenda at upcoming conferences, especially at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in November. Support there shows that the club is not an exclusive reserve in a rich country, but a true addition to existing climate change efforts.

And it will save the planet.

Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Studies, said that existing measures have not achieved the emission reductions needed to meet the Paris Agreement's global warming restriction targets. Given that, I think it's worth a try.

"The rest of the world's carbon budget is running out so rapidly that there is no immediate scientific opportunity to maintain 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit)." He said. "Therefore, we in the sciences know everything that could be useful. One way is to get all the major emitters to agree on a set of collective principles for emission channels and carbon prices. That's it. "

Rockstrom, as it happened in the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which saw the world come together to tackle the ozone problem, is ultimately positive. He said he hopes to reach a turning point. He said the underlying principles of the climate club would upset the current situation where the least ambitious countries set the pace and instead make it the fastest race.

-Other articles on the Associated Press's climate issues