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A Double Standard?
I was struck by President Bush’s comment in the State of the Union address on Monday that the United States should complete an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives no free rides. That sounds right…
Contrast this with the dismay of U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab at the announcement by European Union President Jose Manuel Barroso that new European Union climate legislation could require exporters in countries with weak or nonexistent climate policies to buy EU pollution permits if they wish to trade within the European Union.
Isn’t this a double standard? If the White House will only enter an international climate agreement if everyone comes along, then shouldnt they in turn be willing to come along or pay for the carbon offset when others have established effective climate policies?
If trade policies are not used as tools to drive responsible action by every emitting nation, how can we achieve what the President says he wants?