To assuage trading partners that are uneasy over carbon legislation in the U.S., including the possibility of tariffs tied to a product’s emissions, the lead U.S. climate envoy is saying that trade wars are “inplausable” because of the number of new jobs that will be generated across the board.
Speaking after the conclusion of climate talks in Bonn, Germany, chief climate negotiator for the U.S., Jonathan Pershing, said that manufacturers in developing countries should not worry about rich nations imposing carbon-related tariffs on goods, despite the fact that numerous U.S. politicians have called for such.
“One of the things I am struck by is that there is an increasingly large industrial sector that wins on these issues and frankly a somewhat decreasingly large sector that loses,” he told Reuters.
“If you look at the Nasdaq indices and see which companies are doing well, it’s not the old 1990s high tech sector. It has been replaced by the new 2000s high tech sector which is the new energy high tech,” he continued.
In another twist on the climate negotiations, Pershing said the U.S. would be able to agree with U.N. nations on a plan to battle global warming, scheduled to be negotiated in December in Copenhagen, even if Congress has not approved climate-related legislation by then.
Many other nations, however, are reluctant to put their feet forward on climate change without a clear signal from U.S. Congress, especially considering the U.S. agreed to the Kyoto Protocol in principle but the measure was never adopted by Congress.
Just days earlier, Pershing had characterized the recent talks in Bonn as nonproductive. At the time, he also said the U.S. would use the results of U.S. climate legislation as the basis for what he offers in global carbon reduction negotiations.
The U.S. manufacturing sector, particularly steel producers, has been on edge about climate legislation, fearing that too strict of rules in the U.S. will lead to a flood of imports from nations that have not committed to reducing emissions as much as the U.S.
He said he expected nations like China to make carbon reduction commitments and stick to them.