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.
A well designed and effective CBA ensures that all emissions come with a cost, regardless of their country of origin, and provides strengthened carbon leakage protection only if it complements and addresses the shortcomings of the existing measures.
We need effective enabling policies for a Green Deal on Steel that sets out a clear action plan for the recovery of the steel industry and boosts our CO2 reduction efforts - serving as a blueprint for Europe.
European Commission President von der Leyen today gave her first State of the European Union address, looking back at the achievements of her Commission and forward to her ambitions for the coming months.