Image Source: DW
In order to keep up with the US, the European Commission has devised a plan to try to speed up the production of electric cars and projects that use renewable energy.
The plan calls for green businesses to have easier access to funding and less complicated rules.
It would also relax rules about state aid.
The move comes after the US said it would spend a lot of money on technologies that are good for the environment, such as giving incentives for electric cars made in the US.
The International Energy Agency forecasts that by 2030, the global market for mass-produced clean energy will triple to about $650 billion (£528 billion), and the number of manufacturing jobs related to this will double.
European leaders are worried that the $369 billion in investments the US approved last year will hurt Europe’s economy as the industry grows and encourage businesses to move to the US.
In the UK, Grant Shapps, in charge of business, said last month that the green subsidies could be the start of a “dangerous” slide toward protectionism.
Even though there has been criticism, including claims that the US is breaking free trade rules, the White House hasn’t shown much interest in changing its plans, which US President Joe Biden has said are the key to re-establishing the economy.
The European Commission’s Green Deal Industrial Plan calls for reforming the bloc’s electricity market, working on other free trade agreements, easing rules on state aid, and letting bigger projects get help without going through extra approval steps.
But it will be hard to make the program so that big economies like France and Germany feel like they will benefit only some of the changes.
The 27-person group will discuss the idea at a meeting later this month.
Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice president in charge of competition policy, said, “State aid can’t make Europe more competitive.” But we need help to get rid of fossil fuels as soon as possible.
Biden’s green subsidies on electric cars could hurt international trade
Business Secretary Grant Shapps has said that US President Joe Biden’s green subsidies could be the start of a “dangerous” move toward protectionism.
The $430 billion (£350 billion) plan includes tax credits for green technologies to bring investment to the US.
Last month, International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch wrote to her US counterpart and said it would hurt many economies worldwide.
The EU, Canada, and South Korea have all said it breaks international trade rules.
Americans will be encouraged by the Inflation Reduction Act to buy new and used electric cars, heat their homes with heat pumps, and cook with electric induction.
But the European Union has said that the package hurts competition and threatens jobs in Europe, especially in the energy and auto industries.
Mr. Shapps said on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, that he didn’t think the Act was meant to be protectionist, but that could happen if it isn’t changed.
Tariffs, quotas, or other rules limit imports from other countries. This is usually done to protect domestic businesses and workers from competition from other countries.
Some say that protectionism hurts global trade and makes prices go up for consumers.
Mr. Shapps said that the EU is a good trader around the world. And want to make the world as open as they can. So we must be very careful not to fall into protectionism.
But at a different meeting in Davos, the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer, said that the green subsidies of the Biden administration should not be seen as a problem but as “the single biggest opportunity” for a new economic strategy in the UK.
He said that the US plan was a “catalyst for all of us” to move toward the jobs and chances of the future.
Sir Keir said in September that if Labour won the next general election, he would start a company called Great British Energy that would sell renewable energy to the public.
In December, Ms. Badenoch said the Act would hurt the supply chains for batteries, electric vehicles, and other renewables.
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Also, last month, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the EU and the US needed to work together “to deal with some of the most troubling parts of the law.”
She asked the EU to change its rules on state aid so that the government would be more likely to invest in green technologies to encourage the use of more electric cars.
This latest argument between the US and the UK started when the US labor secretary, Marty Walsh, criticized a bill by the UK government that sets minimum service levels during strikes in some sectors, like ambulance, fire, and rail services.
Mr. Shapps explained the bill in the Commons. It says that some workers would have to work during a strike and could be fired if they didn’t.
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