French European affairs minister defends EU green taxonomy
“Carbon neutrality in 2050 is legally binding for all EU member states. We have set an ambitious intermediary target with a 55% carbon emissions cut by 2030. We are currently defining our tool box to share the efforts, have sectoral regulations, to make it concrete and credible. This will happen very soon since we have a big set of legislation by the European Commission out mid-July to meet the 2030 and 2050 deadlines,” said Clément Beaune, the French secretary of state for European affairs, on Thursday.
He added the European financial sector is facing different issues, highlighting the green taxonomy in particular. Beaune praised the importance of having common rules and said green taxonomy is very important for the investment visibility of the financial sector.
“We have difficult debates around certain energy sources including nuclear but we will solve this this year,” he said, also calling for a common carbon pricing across the globe.
As for the lack of consensus on a common green taxonomy with the US, Beaune stated “it is a very good step to have a common EU set of rules.”
“Would we cooperate with the US in this area? For sure. I cannot predict how realistic this is, how much time that would require. We do not want to create a gap with the US. Green taxonomy, carbon price mechanism adjustment are a way to say we are ready to move at EU level and ready to make it more global. But you cannot start discussions if you do not have set clearly your own rules,” said Beaune.
The French government representative does not believe any of the EU states will get off track on the EU’s carbon neutrality ambition. However, he added “we have and will have difficult discussions internally. For instance, Poland has not the same efforts to make than Germany or France, nor do these countries share the same energy mix.” Beaune said that discussions were hard already to set core targets for 2050. According to Beaune, there is “no way the EU could be competitive in two or three decades” if it does not speed up the transition towards a decarbonised world.