MEPs recommend carbon levy on EU imports to help raise global climate ambition

MEPs said that the EU needs a carbon border adjustment mechanism with the sole aim of pursuing climate objectives and a global level playing field

To raise global climate ambition and prevent ‘carbon leakage’, the EU must place a carbon price on imports from less climate-ambitious countries, environment MEPs said today.

The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted a resolution on a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) with 58 votes for, eigh against and 10 abstentions.

The resolution underlines that the EU’s increased ambition on climate change must not lead to ‘carbon leakage’ as global climate efforts will not benefit if EU production is just moved to non-EU countries that have less ambitious emissions rules.

MEPs said they support the introduction of a WTO-compatible CBAM to place a carbon price on imports of certain goods from outside the EU, if these countries are not ambitious enough about climate change. This would create an incentive for EU and non-EU trade industries to decarbonise in line with the Paris Agreement objectives.

MEPs underline that it should be designed with the sole aim of pursuing climate objectives and a global level playing field, and not be misused as a tool to enhance protectionism.

The CBAM should be part of a broader EU industrial strategy and cover all imports of products and commodities under the EU ETS.

MEPs said that by 2023, and following an impact assessment, it should cover the power sector and energy-intensive industrial sectors like cement, steel, aluminium, oil refinery, paper, glass, chemicals and fertilisers, which continue to receive substantial free allocations, and still represent 94 % of EU industrial emissions.

To prevent carbon leakage, carbon pricing under the CBAM should be linked to the price of EU allowances under the EU ETS, they add.

More in Ewropej