Zeus: Europe forfeits climate leadership mantle in surprise EU vote

Source: KevinCass / iStock via Getty Images

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(David Callaway is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Callaway Climate Insights. He is the former president of the World Editors Forum, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today and MarketWatch, and CEO of TheStreet Inc.)

SAN FRANCISCO (Callaway Climate Insights) — It’s difficult in this day and age, with 24/7 headlines and data-based voting, for political bodies to truly surprise their constituents in key votes. But European Union politicians surprised even themselves Wednesday by soundly rejecting new climate rules designed to lead the world in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Three major pieces of climate legislation designed to slash emissions by 55% by 2030 were rejected in a plenary vote by the European Commission in Strasbourg, after it had agreed only a month ago to vote in favor of speeding up its climate action plan. Plans now dead, weakened, or at least delayed include an enhancement of Europe’s carbon offset market, border taxes on imports from external polluters, and a social climate fund to use money raised from taxes and fees to help low-income citizens battle global warming.

Energy shortages in Europe caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as global inflation and rocky markets have . . . .

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