Author: Clara Brandi

The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment – proceed with caution

Photo: Power plant from above, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

Photo by marcinjozwiak on Pixabay

Today, the European Commission presented its “Fit-for-55” proposal which includes a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The CBAM would impose a levy on imports into the EU based on their CO2 content from 2023. As part of the European Green Deal, Commission President von der Leyen had announced this instrument two years ago in order to be able to implement more ambitious climate policy targets without energy-intensive sectors shifting their emissions abroad (carbon leakage). Following the Commission’s proposal, the CBAM must now be spelled out in detail by the EU member states and the European Parliament. Going forward, it is key to ensure that the CBAM is effective in fighting climate change, that it is WTO compatible and, above all, that it has as few ramifications as possible for foreign policy and for developing countries in particular.…

A European border carbon tax – promises and pitfalls of trade measures as a leverage for climate protection

Photo: Steel factory at duskContributing to heated international debates, the new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen promised a carbon border tax to adjust for carbon costs at the border. To be sure, border carbon adjustments entail international trade law challenges, feasibility complications as well as fairness concerns. But if carefully designed, such adjustments can contribute to strengthening the ambition of climate action both in the EU and beyond it. More generally, there should be a stronger focus on using international trade as a leverage for climate protection.

The disputed status of developing countries in the WTO

File source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geneva_Ministerial_Conference_18-20_May_1998_(9305956531).jpg

Currently, the US and China are fiercely discussing about the role of developing countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO). At the heart of the discussion is the question whether rising powers like China should benefit from special rights in the WTO. …

Did the G20 Hamburg Summit advance 2030 Agenda implementation?

Series: What remains of the G20 Hamburg Summit?
Image: Munich Security Conference

Not a breakthrough, but some opportunities

One major goal of the German G20 Presidency was to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are essential to addressing the challenges faced by the world.  The outcome of the 2017 Hamburg Summit is not a breakthrough for sustainable development, but it does offer some opportunities for real progress.