The European Green Deal (green deal) must become a global ecological pact. The European Union (EU) has made laudable commitments – including its plan to cut its own emissions by 55% by 2030 – and was the only major economy to present plans to make the dramatic reductions that the IPCC [Painel Intergovernamental para as Alterações Climáticas] UN warns are essential to avert catastrophic climate change.
The ‘blind spot’ of the EU’s green policy framework is its impact on other regions. To stabilize the climate and avoid a collapse of biodiversitythe EU and other major consuming economies must facilitate a global transition to sustainability. After all, there is only one climate, so a continent cannot go green if it acts alone.
The report International System Change Compass – The global implications of delivering the European Green Deal (Compass for the Evolution of International Systems – The Global Implications of Achieving the Green Deal European), published this Friday, provides a detailed analysis of how the EU can help other regions make the transition. In addition to decarbonising its economy, the EU must reduce its environmental impact the global economy, by reducing the consumption of natural resources extracted in other parts of the world. This would reduce Europe’s net impact on the global climate. It would also prevent dangerous addictions, such as addiction to Hydrocarbons Russians, whom the EU is now desperately trying to reduce.
Europe must assume its moral responsibility in three areas. The first responsibility is historical. In the three centuries since the start of the industrial revolution, Europe has emitted a large part of the greenhouse gases Greenhouse effect now in the atmosphere. In contrast, the regions of the world most immediately affected by climate change have contributed the least. In this way, Europe has an obligation to help these regions achieve climate neutrality.
Europe’s second responsibility lies in its excessive consumption of the world’s resources, which leads to mining, deforestation and pollution on other continents. European demand is responsible for 17% of tropical deforestation related to internationally traded commodities such as beef, palm oil or soy, making it the largest contributor to tropical deforestation and associated emissions after China. Instead of transferring environmental damage to others, the EU needs to use raw materials much more efficiently and switch to a circular economy.
A third liability is emerging: Europe’s decarbonisation trend is increasing global demand for key raw materials to create the batteries, solar panels and other technologies needed to move away from fossil fuels. Decarbonizing the most polluting economies is essential to avoid a global warming catastrophic, the EU is therefore right to set high ambitions for its own continent. But it needs a comprehensive plan to avoid a new era of massive natural resource extraction, reminiscent of the colonial era.
We face a complex political dilemma: the world needs essential raw materials to produce renewable energy and Europe must not limit itself to seeking non-Russian fossil energy sources. But simply replacing one energy technology with another can lead to a boom mining operations that destroy ecosystems and pollute water and soil. Instead, the EU must focus on three goals to move the world towards sustainability.
The easiest and fastest way is to drastically reduce energy consumption in Europe. The International Energy Agency has calculated that oil demand could be reduced by 2.7 million barrels a day in just four months if rich countries take ten steps, and there are plenty of ways to reduce oil consumption. gas. During the decarbonisation campaign, the EU must protect critical ecosystems, such as forests, through development aid, enshrining this objective in the Commission’s “international partnerships”.
The year 2022 is crucial for the just transition. COP26 in Glasgow last November saw the start of greater attention to climate justice between South and North. In addition to funding climate issues to help countries adapt, the EU must align all of its foreign policies with the Global Green Deal.
This means that Europe must go beyond its short-term interests to help other countries on their own transition path. This is particularly important in countries that dedicate most of their economy to serving the consumption patterns of high-income regions – which is why the ecological transition is so difficult there. For example, the textile industry accounts for 90% of Bangladesh’s total trade, with 56% of production destined for Europe. The EU must help cushion the social impact in these countries by reducing their unsustainable imports and tax emissions. These measures are important and necessary, but the global decline in demand for fuels, raw materials and goods will cause economic shocks for trading partners. An important new goal of EU trade, agricultural and development policies is to help countries like Bangladesh move towards more sustainable (and fair) economic production that continues to have access to European markets.
THE International system change compass identifies the opportunities Europe has to take effective climate action around the world – for example, by redefining prosperity as well-being, reassessing the economy towards valuing nature and reorienting its international relations to make just and efficient ecological transition By investing in system change now, the EU can reduce tensions related to water and food shortages, as well as competition for resources that would otherwise lead to conflicts in the future . This is an opportunity for Europe to ensure the energy, environmental and geopolitical security of its own citizens, as well as to make societies around the world more resilient to future shocks.