Een senior econoom bij Deutsche Bank waarschuwt dat om de Green Deal van de EU te laten slagen, “een zekere mate van eco-dictatuur nodig zal zijn”

Een analyse gepubliceerd door Deutsche Bank bekritiseert scherpe kritiek op het “oneerlijke debat” waarmee de EU haar “Green Deal” aan de Europese bevolking verkoopt. De enorme risico’s van het project voor welvaart, het economische systeem en de democratie zelf mogen niet worden verborgen, maar moeten openlijk worden aangepakt.

Eric Heymann, senior econoom bij Deutsche Bank Research, waarschuwt dat de Europese Green Deal en het doel van klimaatneutraliteit tegen 2050 een Europese megacrisis dreigt te veroorzaken, wat leidt tot “merkbaar verlies van welvaart en banen”. En hij waarschuwt: het zal niet werken zonder “een zekere mate van eco-dictatuur”.

De analist beschrijft het als twijfelachtig dat de Green Deal over de hele linie wordt aangeprezen als “een nieuwe groeistrategie” waarmee de EU een “eerlijke en welvarende samenleving” kan worden. Hoewel dit er op papier misschien goed uitziet, schrijft Heymann, zullen de Europese economie en haar hele politieke en juridische systeem fundamenteel moeten worden veranderd om tegen 2050 koolstofneutraal te zijn.

Voorlopig zijn de revolutionaire gevolgen van de klimaatagenda van de EU voor het dagelijks leven “nog relatief abstract” en voor de meeste huishoudens “nog steeds acceptabel”. Binnenkort vereist de weg naar klimaatneutraliteit echter drastische ingrepen in de keuze van vervoermiddelen, de grootte van de woningen, de verwarmingsmiddelen, het bezit van elektronische consumptiegoederen en beperkingen in de consumptie van vlees en tropisch fruit.

En hij waarschuwt dat deze beperkingen en inbreuken onvermijdelijk zullen leiden tot “massaal politiek verzet”.

Some parties will find arguments against strict climate protection policies if the latter lead to a significant increase in energy prices or to restrictions of personal freedom or ownership rights. And let us not fool ourselves: these parties will find voter support. At the EU level, there will be major conflicts about distribution, which may contribute to (further) divisions within the bloc. Are we ready to deal with this polarisation?

Hieronder staan fragmenten van de analyse van Eric Heymann (Deutsche Bank Research).

Climate neutrality: Are we ready for an honest discussion?

[…]

A certain degree of eco-dictatorship will be necessary

The impact of the current climate policy on people’s everyday lives is still quite abstract and acceptable for many households. Climate policy comes in the form of higher taxes and fees on energy, which make heating and mobility more expensive. Some countries have set minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings or similar rules in other areas. However, climate policy does not determine our lives. We take key consumption decisions, for example whether we travel at all, how much we travel and which means of transport we use, whether we live in a large house or a small apartment and how we heat our homes, how many electronic devices we have and how intensely we use them or how much meat and exotic fruit we eat. These decisions tend to be made on the basis of our income, not on climate considerations.

If we really want to achieve climate neutrality, we need to change our behaviour in all these areas of life. This is simply because there are no adequate cost-effective technologies yet to allow us to maintain our living standards in a carbon-neutral way. That means that carbon prices will have to rise considerably in order to nudge people to change their behaviour. Another (or perhaps supplementary) option is to tighten regulatory law considerably. I know that “ecodictatorship” is a nasty word. But we may have to ask ourselves the question whether and to what extent we may be willing to accept some kind of eco-dictatorship (in the form of regulatory law) in order to move towards climate neutrality. Here is an example: What should we do if property owners do not want to turn their houses into zero-emission buildings; if they do not have the financial means to do so; if doing so is not possible for technical reasons or if the related investments do not pay off?

Loss of competitiveness or restrictions to free trade

If the EU moves considerably more quickly towards climate neutrality than the rest of the world, carbon prices in the EU will rise more rapidly, too. This will reduce the competitiveness of energy-intensive companies in the EU. Are we willing to pay that price? Probably not – remember, nobody is to be left behind. So will we subsidise these companies to enable them to use expensive, but climate-friendly technology? This option will be difficult to implement in the long run due to budget constraints. An honest discussion will have to deal with the truth that each euro spent on climate protection is no longer available for expenses on education, research, public health, digital infrastructure, domestic and external security, tax cuts or higher pensions. The EU commission plans to introduce a carbon border adjustment system to address the competition problem. Do we really believe that doing so will not make the affected countries introduce countermeasures? Are we really willing to give up the advantages of free trade in favour of climate protection?

Massive political resistance ahead

Nobody is to be left behind on the path towards climate neutrality. This statement from the Green Deal probably amounts to trying to square the circle. A major turnaround in climate policy will certainly produce losers among both households and corporates. In addition, prosperity and employment are likely to suffer considerably. If this was not the case, climate protection would be an easy undertaking. These developments will obviously have an impact on the political landscape, both at the national and EU level.

Some parties will find arguments against strict climate protection policies if the latter lead to a significant increase in energy prices or to restrictions of personal freedom or ownership rights. And let us not fool ourselves: these parties will find voter support. At the EU level, there will be major conflicts about distribution, which may contribute to (further) divisions within the bloc. Are we ready to deal with this polarisation? Or will we adjust our climate policy ambitions if we find that (overly) ambitious climate policies are not acceptable to a majority of the people?

The full analysis is available at  Deutsche Bank Research  (pp. 70-73)



Bron:
https://www.thegwpf.com/deutsche-bank-eu-green-deal-can-only-succeed-with-a-certain-degree-of-eco-dictatorship/

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