Illustration: Sarah Grillo

In a recent speech, French President Emmanuel Macron raised a proposal for an EU–wide carbon “tariff” on goods coming into the bloc from countries without a price on carbon — a way to lead by example on climate while still leading through advantage for industry.

Why it matters: The plan could prompt other countries to adopt carbon pricing in part to avoid disadvantaging their goods and services. In the best case, it could lead to a rapid increase in the amount of global emissions exposed to a carbon price, without creating excessively harmful economic distortions.

The catch: Border adjustments are delicate mechanisms and will have to be designed with the game theory of other countries' likely responses in mind. In the worst case, such a charge might be contested before the World Trade Organization.

  • Even if the WTO validated the policy, a supportive ruling disregarded by key economies such as the U.S. would damage the organization's credibility in exchange for no meaningful climate action.

Where it stands: The system Macron discussed would be incredibly complex and could take years to develop. But one thing is sure: Efforts by various countries to advance a "green" industrial policy, in all its forms, are only set to expand.

  • France's idea has been unsuccessfully floated before, but it's noteworthy that Europe’s largest business lobby recently dropped its opposition.
  • ArcelorMittal, the steel and mining company, is also calling for a "green border adjustment" that would protect it from imports of steel not currently subject to EU carbon fees.
  • The U.S. could expose itself to trade sanctions for its failure to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an environmental agreement supported by American industry and many Republicans.

What to watch: Although climate change is polling as an increasingly important issue for both Democratic and Republican voters ahead of next year's U.S. presidential elections, candidates have said relatively little about the intersections of climate and trade policy.

  • A recent proposal by John Hickenlooper to integrate climate goals into U.S. trade agreements may yet mark the beginning of a shift for the 2020 race.

David Livingston is deputy director for climate and advanced energy at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center.

Go deeper

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.