Insights | EU Insight 5 November, 2021

05/11/2021

EU Insight 5 November, 2021

Brussels, 5 November 2021

 

G20 OUTLINES COMMITMENTS TO CARBON NEUTRALITY AND INTERNATIONAL TAXATION

Last weekend G20 leaders committed to reach carbon neutrality “by or around mid-century” and to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad, albeit it sets no target for phasing out coal domestically. The agreed Declaration also reaffirms the commitment to mobilise $100 billion annually towards sustainable finance initiatives in developing countries, and stresses that G20 countries will continue to sustain the economic recovery. The leaders also said they will take steps to help boost global supply of COVID-19 vaccines and to strengthen global health governance. Finally, they called on the OECD and G20 to ensure that the new rules on international taxation come into effect in 2023.

 

WORLD LEADERS MAKE PLEDGE TO REVERSE FOREST LOSS AND DEGRADATION BY 2030

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began last Sunday in Glasgow. So far, despite some high-level political tensions between countries, particularly between France and the UK/Australia, and some notable absences, including China’s Xi Jinping, world leaders have been able to agree on several commitments. Over 100 leaders have pledged to halt and reverse forest loss and degradation by 2030, which was backed by over €16 billion in public and private funding (the European Commission alone has pledged €1 billion). COP26 will continue until 12 November.

 

EU AND US TO BEGIN TALKS ON SUSTAINABLE STEEL AND ALUMINIUM GLOBAL AGREEMENT

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and United States President Joe Biden have agreed to start discussions on a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium, in what marks an important step for the EU-US efforts to achieve the decarbonisation of the global steel and aluminium industries in the fight against climate change. As a first step, the US and the EU will create a technical working group on the issue. Furthermore, the US announced that it will not apply duties and will allow duty-free importation of steel and aluminium from the EU and the EU suspended related tariffs on the US.

 

IFRS FOUNDATION SETS UP THE INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS BOARD

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation announced the formation of a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to develop a comprehensive global baseline of high-quality sustainability disclosure standards to meet investors and other capital market participants information needs. Specifically, the goal is to facilitate access to information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to help investors make valuable decisions. The ISSB will sit alongside and work in close cooperation with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The ISSB’s work is expected to commence very shortly. The Chair and Vice-Chairs will be appointed by the trustees, who will also search for additional board positions.

 

NEW INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATORY TO DRIVE REDUCTION OF METHANE EMISSIONS

The UN Environment Programme with support from the European Union launched the new International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) during last weekend’s G20 Summit, with the goal to drive the reduction of methane emissions. The Observatory aims to improve transparency around reporting of man-made methane emissions and provide the means to prioritise actions and monitor countries’ commitments made in the context of the Global Methane Pledge. To this end, it will produce a detailed global public dataset of empirically verified methane emissions, starting with the fossil fuel sector. It will then expand to other major emitting sectors like agriculture and waste.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 8 November: Eurogroup. On the agenda: Banking Union, macroeconomic developments, and digital Euro.
  • 9 November: Economic and Financial Affairs Council. On the agenda: policy debate on Basel III and exchange of views on the EU economy after COVID-19.
  • 10 November: College of Commissioners. On the agenda: Strategic Compass.
  • 10-11 November: European Parliament plenary session (Brussels). On the agenda: European Council meeting 21-22 October, outcome of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC).
  • 11 November: Foreign Affairs Council (Trade). On the agenda: State of play on WTO reform and trade relations with the US.
  • 12 November: Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Budget). On the agenda: Union budget for 2022.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

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Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

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