Join us, don’t fight us for green grants – POLITICO

The US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is criticized by the EU for its protectionism, but former US Vice President and current climate activist Al Gore has defended the legislation as a ‘truly historic achievement’ .

« This is by far the most significant climate legislation ever passed by any country and in all of history, » he said at POLITICO’s Sustainable Futures Summit, adding that « it took a lot political acumen from President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. » House and Senate leaders to do so.

Last August, Washington announced the $369 billion industrial grant program to support low-carbon companies. However, the law requires that much of key technology – like the batteries used in electric cars – be made in North America, sending European leaders into panic over the economic implications for their domestic industries.

But for Gore, the US effort should act as a catalyst for other nations – and the EU – to take even bolder climate action in a bid to « match what the US has done ».

He noted how the bloc’s proposal to introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism to mitigate the risk of carbon leakage is rooted in the same ideology; The EU border carbon tax has been criticized by bloc partners for potentially breaching global trade rules.

Gore also criticized the EU for including natural gas in its new definition of renewable technologies for investors, saying he was « disappointed » the fuel had entered the so-called taxonomy.

He called it a « widespread myth » that natural gas – which he insisted on calling « fossil gas » – is cleaner than coal, noting that while methane leaks along the production line are included, then the gas is even more harmful to the climate than coal.

Gore’s remarks come as the US and EU face trade escalation over green subsidies passed by Washington. French President Emmanuel Macron will fly to Washington on Tuesday evening hoping to persuade Biden to listen to European concerns and avoid a trade war.

Gore has become one of the world’s most active voices on the dangers of climate change – somberly warning that polluting industries are « using the troposphere like an open sewer » and that « the survival of our civilization is potentially at risk ».

He is in charge of a $36 billion investment fund targeting companies that help reduce emissions. This fund represents a tiny fraction of global financing needs – something he estimated at $45 trillion “urgently needed”.

Despite the gloom of rapidly accelerating climate change, Gore remained optimistic that if the world takes seriously reaching net zero goals by mid-century, the planet can avoid the worst effects of climate change. global warming.

He noted that last year 90% of all new electricity generation installations were renewable, that a new space project in which he is involved will monitor all significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions from by the end of next year, and that if the world stops pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, temperature increases could end in as little as three years.

« It’s still impossible until it’s done, » Gore said.

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