Carbon border adjustment

An opportunity to preserve EU climate leadership.

Carbon border adjustment

An opportunity to preserve EU climate leadership and reflect the carbon intensity of products imported onto the EU market.

handrail 4245402 1920

A Carbon Border Adjustment (CBA) mechanism is a tool to support the EU's climate leadership by reflecting the carbon intensity of products imported into the EU, such as steel. This mechanism is important because EU producers have the highest environmental and climate protection goals in the world - and higher production costs that accompany this effort.

The European steel industry is therefore at very high risk of carbon leakage - the loss of sales to cheaply-priced, carbon-intense imports. Avoiding the risk of carbon leakage is a pre-condition for preserving both the environmental integrity of EU climate policy and industrial competitiveness since it contributes to reducing emissions at a global level while maintaining jobs and investments in Europe.  This will also be instrumental in facilitating the social acceptance of EU leadership in climate ambition.

The European Green Deal underlines that the risk of carbon leakage can materialise in different forms, 'either because production is transferred from the EU to other countries with lower ambition for emission reduction, or because EU products are replaced by more carbon-intensive imports'. As long as there is no international binding agreement with a global carbon price and equivalent efforts, it is essential that the EU legislation adopts effective measures that avoid all forms of leakage in the short and medium terms.

The carbon border adjustment measure should be applied for a transition period until breakthrough technologies reach sufficient market penetration and CO2-lean products represent a critical mass in the market. It represents a broader contribution to a clean planet, as it is also an effective tool of political diplomacy to foster climate ambition in third countries so that deeper emission reductions are delivered globally.

Published: 08 April 2020. Most recent update: 08 April 2020.

The European Steel Association (EUROFER)
172 Avenue de Cortenbergh
1000 Brussels


Phone: +32 (0) 2 738 79 20