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Bruegel Think Thank

The European Union’s carbon border mechanism and the WTO

To avoid any backlash, the European Union should work with other World Trade Organisation members to define basic principles of carbon border adjustment mechanisms. According to the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Dashboard, as of April 2021, 45 countries had in place national or supra-national carbon pricing schemes, in the form of either an emission trading system (ETS) or a carbon tax. Although existing schemes still only cover 18.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the international...

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Making sure green household investment pays off

Policies are needed to support green fuel switching by households; support should be phased out as the carbon price rises. The first stage of decarbonisation in Europe was characterised by incremental improvements in energy efficiency and by replacing fossil fuels in electricity generation. To meet the EU’s ambitious 2030 targets, which will involve a reduction in annual greenhouse-gas emissions from about 3,600 million tonnes (2015 figure) to 2,100 million tonnes, it is now essential for...

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A fitting plan for the European Green Deal?

Ensuring competitiveness of low-carbon investments At this event, speakers will introduce the core idea of commercialisation contracts, and then discuss key design elements. This includes whether contracts should be issued at the EU or national level, how competition for contracts should be organised, and which industries should be eligible for support. Speakers: Natalia Fabra, Peter Handley, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics &...

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Building the Road to Greener Pastures

How the G20 can support the recovery with sustainable local infrastructure investment. We owe our gratitude to Suman Bery, Nicola Bilotta, Maria Demertzis, Alberto Franco Pozzolo, Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram Wolff, and Georg Zachmann for their input and comments, as well as Alma Kurtovic for her excellent management of this project. We would also like to thank the Italian Ministry of Finance and Economics and the members of the G20 Infrastructure Working Group for their valuable feedback...

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‘Fit-for-55’ package: Squaring the circle

The European Union finds itself at the centre of a three-dimensional puzzle. Burdens need to be shared between 450 million citizens, 25 million businesses and EU countries in a way that is acceptable to enough of them. Read the piece published by Euractiv. Republishing and referencing Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Due to copyright agreements we ask that you kindly email request to republish opinions that have appeared in print to...

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A new direction for the European Union’s half-hearted semiconductor strategy

The EU needs a more targeted strategy to increase its presence in this strategic and thriving sector, building on its existing strengths, while accommodating its relatively low domestic needs. The authors thank Sybrand Brekelmans, Viktor Krozer, Guntram Wolff and Georg Zachmann for their comments. A basic component in electronic devices, semiconductors are essential to the production of many products, from smartphones to cars. Securing reliable supplies of semiconductors to safeguard the...

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Could the RMB dislodge the dollar as a reserve currency?

A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age Report of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. By: Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Lawrence H. Summers, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ana Botin, Mohamed El-Erian, Jacob Frenkel, Rebeca Grynspan, Naoko Ishii, Michael Kremer, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Luis Alberto Moreno, Lucrezia Reichlin, John-Arne Røttingen, Vera Songwe, Mark Suzman, Tidjane Thiam, Jean-Claude Trichet, Ngaire Woods, ZHU Min, Masood Ahmed,...

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Fit for 55 marks Europe’s climate moment of truth

With Fit for 55, Europe is the global first mover in turning a long-term net-zero goal into real-world policies, marking the entry of climate policy into the daily life of all citizens and businesses. The author is grateful to Maria Demertzis, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann for their comments on previous drafts. The European Commission’s long-awaited ‘Fit for 55’ package, intended to facilitate a European Union greenhouse gas emissions cut of 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, has as its...

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What should public spending look like?

What should we do about the increase in public spending due to COVID-19? Bruegel Director Guntram Wolff and Former Deputy Secretary-General of OECD Ludger Schuknecht discuss. Here’s what’s clear: public spending is on the rise. Public expenditure ratios have quadrupled since 1870, and increased even more in the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Is that good or bad? What does responsible public spending look like? How should governments institute reforms in order to improve their public spending...

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Fair vaccine access is a goal Europe cannot afford to miss – July update

A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age Report of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. By: Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Lawrence H. Summers, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ana Botin, Mohamed El-Erian, Jacob Frenkel, Rebeca Grynspan, Naoko Ishii, Michael Kremer, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Luis Alberto Moreno, Lucrezia Reichlin, John-Arne Røttingen, Vera Songwe, Mark Suzman, Tidjane Thiam, Jean-Claude Trichet, Ngaire Woods, ZHU Min, Masood Ahmed,...

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