CBAM - How do we ensure that we cut emissions - not move them?
The EU’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) was adopted by the European Commission in July 2021 to complement the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively in line with the Fit for 55 objectives. Products from the following sectors will be impacted: cement, aluminium, fertiliser, electricity, iron and steel.
CBAM aims to impose a CO2 charge on products entering the EU so that European industry can play on an equal footing with foreign manufacturers. According to the European Commission, the main objective of CBAM is to counteract the risk of carbon leakage, which will increase due to higher European carbon prices. In the long term, CBAM should gradually replace the free allowances distributed through the EU ETS. The issue of exports recently heated up at the European Council, where Member States agreed on the general approach on CBAM, leaving the exports issue for a later stage.
However, several European industries have expressed their concerns that the CBAM only levels the playing field for imports and that no solution has been proposed for exports leaving the EU. They also stress that there is a high risk that EU products would be replaced by more carbon-intensive products, which would be counterproductive. This leads them to call EU decision-makers to include an export mechanism in the CBAM Regulation.
Yet, as it stands today, they argue that CBAM would hinder the reach of European industry in global markets. The industry expects the EU to boost sustainable trade globally by facilitating the export of low carbon products. An example of this is the fertiliser sector, where trade flows follow the natural growing season of crops across the world. By providing nutrients for farmers to harvest high quality crops, the fertilizer sector contributes to food security in Europe and globally, while guaranteeing EU’s strategic autonomy.
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss the challenges faced by the CBAM to ensure EU Green Deal ambitions can truly avoid carbon leakage. Questions to be addressed by panellists include:
- How can sustainable trade enable carbon neutrality in the EU and globally?
- What are the implications for the CBAM proposal considering the current geopolitical context and the concerns on global food security?
- How to ensure that CBAM will cut emissions in the EU without relocating them globally?
- Can a real equal footing between European producers and foreign manufacturers be ensured if CBAM does not include a solution for exports leaving the EU?
- What does the CBAM proposal mean for export oriented companies and Member States?
- How can CBAM address the issue related to exports for EU industries?
Pasquale De Micco, Economic and Legal Analysis of Indirect Taxation, DG TAXUD, European Commission
Maria Spyraki MEP, Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, European Parliament
Aylin Shawkat, Project Manager Industry, Agora Energiewende
Benjamin Denis, Senior Policy Adviser, IndustriAll
Luc Haustermans, Head of EU Public Affairs and Industry Relations, Yara International
Dave Keating, Journalist, EURACTIV
14:30 – 14:35 Welcome
14:35 – 14:50 Panellist statements
14:50 – 15:40 Discussion and Q&A
15:40 – 15:45 Closing statements
+32 (0) 2 788 36 86
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The European Commission insists that exports from EU sectors covered by the bloc’s proposed EU carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) should not be subsidised, despite calls from energy-intensive industries and some lawmakers to include export rebates.