Green Steel Deal: Climate mitigation and international trade come together in decarbonization policy proposal



Justine Chen | Vanderbilt University

In a paper published by the Roosevelt Institute, Vanderbilt faculty proposed that as the 2021 G7 summit gets underway, the Biden Administration has a chance for a new beginning in fighting climate change.

Vanderbilt Law School Director of International Legal Studies Timothy Meyer and Roosevelt Institute Director of Governance Studies Todd Tucker recommended a two-pronged climate change/international trade policy they call the Green Steel Deal. Its goal is to work within the legal and political constraints nations face at home, rather than designing international trade restrictions.

This arrangement, the authors said, calls for like-minded countries to create a steel-focused international “climate club,” where the condition of membership is to convert, as soon as is feasible, all domestic steel production to green methods. The “club” would agree to apply a common carbon tariff on the imports of steel from nonmember countries, and within 10 years, all members would replace the tariff with an internal ban on the sale of dirty steel. Member countries would also pledge to re-invest tariff revenue into green steel projects and development.

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