Trade tensions between the United States and the European Union receive a new packaging

REBELL – New packaging regulations under debate within the European Union could become the next flashpoint in trade relations between Washington and Brussels.

U.S. industry groups are attracting the attention of U.S. government agencies in their campaign against European efforts to reduce waste from consumer product packaging ranging from fresh produce to mini shampoo bottles in hotel rooms, Report by Jordan and Leonie Cater.

U.S. trade groups warn that the legislation, which would impose strict recycled content and reuse requirements on domestic and imported products, could force them to limit exports to Europe.

“This could be a huge business problem,” said Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank specializing in international affairs. “Other countries trying to sell their products in the EU will also be affected.”

American officials from the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce traveled to Brussels to engage in the frenzy. The US Mission to the EU earlier this year co-hosted a event in the European Parliament – ​​a “US-EU dialogue on sustainable packaging” – alongside conservative Italian lawmaker Pietro Fiocchi, a vocal skeptic of the proposal’s goals for reusable packaging.

Among concerns for U.S. businesses: The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU said the restrictions could have “negative impacts on international product trade.” The American Dairy Export Council is require exemptions requirements for reusable packaging and recycled content, arguing that it would be logistically difficult and carbon-intensive to use packaging returned to U.S. producers to fill them. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has expressed concern that a provision requiring companies to eliminate “unnecessary” packaging used solely for branding purposes “bans brands and eliminates competition” – and could allow to counterfeiters.

European lawmakers were expected to vote on the proposal this week; this has been postponed until next month due to deep divisions within the relevant parliamentary committee as a strong US lobbying presence takes shape.

Green groups are pushing lawmakers to move forward. The measures are “more than necessary to achieve the intended environmental objectives,” said Marco Musso of the European Environmental Bureau.

This is not the first time in recent memory that Brussels’ long regulatory arm has frightened American businesses. But this final chapter highlights the deep economic concerns associated with Europe’s attempt to bridge the environment and international trade – as officials try to maintain a Western economic alliance to combat China.

“There is a real potential” for the regulations to negatively impact exports to Europe for food producers and distributors, said Max Teplitski, scientific director of the International Fresh Product Association, whose members include U.S.-based and worldwide exporters to Europe as well as European producers. “We are certainly committed and we are active on this issue.”

CARROTS, NOT STICKS — The Treasury Department published principles for net zero financing and investment highlight best practices among financial companies implementing decarbonization plans. This is an effort to promote consistency and credibility in net zero claims made by banks and fund managers, particularly for the “funded emissions” that make up the bulk of their pollution.

The principles announced earlier today include aligning net zero emissions targets with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and considering a “managed phase-out” of fossil fuel financing. Treasury has promoted outside commitments from philanthropic organizations such as Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bezos Earth Fund, which will disburse $340 million over the next three years to expand resources for financial firms to reach their zero-point goals. net emission.

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero has announced that more than 50 US financial firms will publish plans to transition to net zero over the next year. And the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials will train up to 2,500 people in greenhouse gas accounting methodologies.

“There is growing demand for technologies, products and services that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a clean energy future,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in remarks prepared for a speech in New York later in the day. “This demand is fueling the growth of new sectors and business models.”

Treasury officials were much more optimistic during a press call with reporters to discuss the principles of net zero emissions:

“This is not about creating new resources, materials or guidance that does not already exist,” they said, later adding: “We are not suggesting anyone do anything.”

NEWSOM SPEAKS — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to sign two landmark corporate climate disclosure bills that promise to reshape the landscape for both how big companies report of their carbon footprint and the impact of climate change on their results.

Speaking at a panel Sunday on the opening day of Climate Week in New York, Newsom announced his intention to support SB253 and SB261, which cleared the California Legislature last week. The bills would require large companies operating in the state to disclose their emissions, including those from their supply chains, as well as their climate-related financial risks. Some 5,400 companies would be affected.

Together, the California bills go beyond U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules proposed more than a year ago and yet to be finalized, amid speculation that the agency could forgo requiring supply chain disclosures and the near certainty of legal challenges, regardless. dating.

For his part, Newsom noted that California’s bills might need some sort of “cleanup.” Ry Rivard reports from the scene. It is music to the ears of the California Chamber of Commerce, which has lobbied against the measures and may propose cleanup legislation next year.

MUSK’S NEXT VICTORY — The strike rocking Detroit’s Big Three automakers could give Elon Musk another major victory over U.S. rivals who are looking for ways to chip away at Tesla’s non-union electric vehicle dominance.

The financial gains sought by UAW workers could increase Tesla’s labor cost advantage over Ford, General Motors, Stellantis and Tesla, which would run counter to the President Joe Biden’s goal of shaping the green transition around union-friendly policies. The strike comes as the White House has already had to come out in favor of the decidedly anti-union Musk by adopting Tesla’s charging system as the industry standard after previously keeping him at arm’s length.

The Big Three were already facing a situation where they had to lower prices and launch new models to gain market share. A long strike or a big victory for union workers could help ensure Tesla’s continued market dominance, James Bikales reports.

Tesla, moreover, is being courted to open new factories abroad – Turkey being the latest suitor, Claudia Chiappa reports.

GAME ON — Welcome to the Long Game, where we’ll tell you about the latest initiatives to shape our future. Join us every Tuesday to stay up to date on the world of sustainability.

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— Here’s something that could raise the profile the fight against PFAS: NFL players are worried, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

— Environmental activists warn that the UN could adopt the arguments of the plastic industryaccording to Pro Publica.

— The US president’s special climate envoy, John Kerry, says in the Washington Post that it is time to stop building coal-fired power plants.

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