The role of the EU in governing the geopolitics of the Net-Zero transition
Two key priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU are to re-industrialise the EU and foster an ‘open strategic autonomy’ as well as to advance the green transition and enable environmental adaptation. The EU cannot address these priorities in isolation. The EU’s emissions amount to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The dependence on critical raw materials needed for the low carbon transition is extremely high. Financing the transition to meet the goals enshrined in the European Green Deal and REPower EU is expected to require additional investment of €620 bn annually. Additionally, current calls for addressing ‘regulatory inflation’ are being repeatedly voiced by the business sector and willingness to internalise climate-related externalities by citizens is in short supply. Given the above, this panel seeks to understand both how to govern the geopolitics of decarbonisation and the role the EU in the ‘climate pledges implementation age’.
Key elements of the discussion will include: the external dimension of the European Green Deal (which includes the impacts of the carbon border adjustment mechanism, deforestation regulation, Global Gateway, etc.), trade agreements under discussion (e.g. EU-Mercosur), the decarbonisation policies of key emitters (the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, China’s national policies and its Belt and Road Initiative), the EU’s European Green Deal and its implementation package (Fit for 55), REPowerEU and the Green Deal Industrial Plan (including the Net Zero Industry Act, the Critical Raw Materials Act and the reform of the electricity market). The panel will additionally reflect on ways to distribute climate leadership to assuage the impact of potential future climate defaults by large emitters (e.g. the US) inter alia via: strengthening the EU-LAC and EU-southern neighbourhood climate cooperation, reinforcing the EU’s directional leadership and bridge-building role ahead of COP28 and beyond and engaging in Just Energy Transition Partnerships more broadly.
Session 1 is organised by Elcano Institute.
Lara Lázaro Touza, Elcano Royal Institute
- Sebastian Oberthür Brussels School of Governance & Centre for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law at the University of Eastern Finland.
- Carlos Maravall. Policy Officer. DG ENER. European Commission
- Gonzalo Escribano. Director of the Energy and Climate Programme (Elcano Royal Institute)
- Louise Simon. Analyst. Climate & Company
- Isabell Büschel, Director, Transport & Environment, Spain
Find out more about the event and register here.