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MEPs Call For EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Monday, February 15, 2021

Lawmakers sitting on an EU parliament climate committee have called for the introduction of a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).

On February 5, 2020, the Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety adopted a resolution calling for the introduction of a CBAM, by 58 votes to eight, with 10 abstentions.

The MEPs supported the introduction of a WTO-compatible CBAM that would place a carbon price on imports of certain goods from outside the EU if the exporting countries are not deemed ambitious enough in their efforts to tackle climate change. They said that the CBAM should be part of a broader EU industrial strategy and cover all imports of products and commodities under the EU's current Emissions Trading System (ETS).

MEPS also recommended that, following an impact assessment, the CBAM should by 2023 cover the power sector and energy-intensive industrial sectors like cement, steel, aluminum, oil refining, paper, glass, chemicals, and fertilizers. To prevent "carbon leakage," carbon pricing under the CBAM should be linked to the price of EU allowances under the EU ETS, they said.

Parliament is set to vote on the resolution in a plenary session in early March. The European Commission is expected to present a proposal on a CBAM in the second quarter of 2021.

A CBAM was among the new "own resource" measures that were floated as part of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-27.