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Tariff reduction on renewables inputs for European decarbonization


Climate action is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by all 193 United Nations member states. We show that lifting European Union import tariffs on some inputs used to produce renewable energy could lessen Europe’s carbon footprint, improving the likelihood that the region meets the targets of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. The results of a panel regression analysis with detailed product-level data indicate that eliminating the tariffs on 11 intermediate inputs may help to offset fossil fuel consumption driven by growth in economic activity. Abolishing the tariff on a single product—cylindrical roller bearings, used in the manufacturing of wind turbines—would probably bring the most benefit, cancelling out the expansion in demand for fossil fuels otherwise expected from 1–4% European gross domestic product growth (46,000–236,000 tonnes of oil equivalent per member state).

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Author information




R.Z. outlined the theoretical background of the study. S.F. designed and performed the empirical analysis. Both authors wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rodrigo Zeidan.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Tables 1-4

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Fedoseeva, S., Zeidan, R. Tariff reduction on renewables inputs for European decarbonization. Nat Sustain 1, 436–440 (2018).

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