21 October 2011: What the EU should do at and after the Durban climate summit

The next climate summit takes place in Durban, South Africa in late November/early December. This follows the unsuccessful 2009 Copenhagen summit and the partially-successful one in Cancun in 2010. Given the current US political situation and the stance of countries like China and India to climate negotiations, only the EU can inject impetus into the international negotiations.

Whatever the outcome of the Durban discussions, the EU should give priority to agreeing its draft energy efficiency directive, which will be good for human health and energy security as well as climate protection. It should also strengthen the Emissions Trading System by setting a floor price for the carbon permits. And it should introduce border tax adjustments for goods imported from countries without a carbon price. The revenue should be returned to the country of origin, for use on clean energy projects, but only if that country agrees to an international carbon reduction target.

These proposals are contained in my policy brief published today by the Centre for European reform (see Centre for European Reform: EU climate policies without an international framework).

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