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Analyses et Arguments

Climate Performance of the G7 States and the Corona Crisis

de Jasper Eitze, Maximilian Pretzel

How can we reconcile Climate Protection and the Economy?

The Corona crisis has driven the G7 countries into recession. It is clear that economic recovery must be based on sustainable criteria. The main issue here is how best to reconcile economic growth and climate protection. Our Analyses & Arguments therefore suggests that the climate performance of the G7 countries should increasingly be assessed on the basis of CO2 productivity, taking industrial production and power generation as key influencing variables.

· Especially during the Corona crisis, the question about how we can reconcile economic and ecological objectives is becoming ever more important. Climate change, after all, as a predominantly long-term challenge, is in competition with the short-term goal of economic revival.

· The common G7 evaluation of climate performance – primarily based on CO2 emissions – falls short of the mark. Rather, a new benchmark should be applied which measures both emissions and economic development simultaneously.

· Until industrial processes can be made CO2-neutral in a cost-efficient way, reductions in emissions owing to declining industrial production in the G7 states will be to the detriment of climate protection. Given that ecological standards in the G7 states are high, industrial goods should also continue to be produced in these countries on a large scale.

· Changes to the electricity mix of the G7 states highlight both the effective and efficient steering effect of CO2 prices. For this reason, it is important to further strengthen CO2 pricing as a guiding tool for the market economy.

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