The United States is open to possible “adjustments” to its massive climate plan to reassure Europeans who fear their businesses will flee across the Atlantic, John Kerry, the US special envoy on climate change, said on the BBC on Saturday.
“I don’t think (the Inflation Reduction Act, IRA) will be watered down,” John Kerry told the BBC. “But do you look at where it might be appropriate to make changes or adjustments that are fair, without it going beyond our own efforts? I’m confident that President Biden would be willing to think about it.”
The European Union has been concerned for months about the effects of the IRA, US President Joe Biden’s $420 billion largely climate-related plan passed last summer.
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Package of reforms and subsidies
Among other things, this plan allows for reforms and subsidies in favor of companies established in the US, especially in electric cars or renewable energy, which worries the EU, which calls for more “coordination” and fears a leakage of its companies across the Atlantic. The issue was at the heart of French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent state visit to Washington.
On the BBC, John Kerry also spoke about the controversial underground coal mining project approved this week in Britain, the first project of its kind in thirty years in the country.
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“Obviously people will be critical because the general idea is that any coal mine goes in the opposite direction of what most people are asking for,” he said of this project in the county of Cumbria (northwest England). Saying he would understand the project before commenting on it, he warned against the image such a plan would send internationally.
“If you go around the world telling people to leave their coal underground, it’s hypocritical if you simultaneously announce that you’re opening a new mine in a country like the UK,” he said.