Denmark opts for open trade under EU climate plan
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union should avoid trade protectionism when implementing its energy package on fighting climate change, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday.
Rasmussen said he was against forcing importers in the 27-nation bloc to buy carbon emissions certificates if they brought in certain goods from countries that did not strive to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
"I'm all in favor of reciprocity. However, it is a very defensive answer to the challenges of globalization to introduce protectionism and trade defensive instruments," he said after talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
"The only way for Europe to ensure competitiveness, to ensure job creation, is openness, is free trade, is investment in competitive, improving measures like research, development and education," Rasmussen told a joint news conference.
The Commission proposed on Wednesday sweeping measures to reduce emissions of gases blamed for global warming and increase the amount of energy produced from renewable sources.
Many businesses complained obeying the rules would harm them in global competition by making their products more expensive.
The Commission said if there were no global deal to curb emissions, succeeding the Kyoto Protocol on climate change after 2012, the EU may consider forcing importers to buy permits.
The United States has strongly criticized the idea.
(Reporting by Marcin Grajewski; editing by James Jukwey)