Can Europe avoid trade wars over climate policy? The case of CBAM
28 Nov 2022 14:00 - 15:30
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Join the online debate on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

The European Parliament and Council are in the final stages of negotiating the so-called Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), a charge on carbon-intensive imports aimed at preventing carbon leakage. CBAM is considered an important new element of EU climate and trade policy as it will make polluters from other countries pay for their emissions if they want to export their products to the EU.

But, outside the EU, the initiative has met a mixed response. Some accuse the EU of protectionism by using emission reduction objectives as a disguise for installing a charge on imports. Others are more positive and see it as an important step to reduce dependencies on carbon-intensive exports. Despite initial scepticism, CBAM has also stimulated the development of new emissions trading or carbon border adjustment schemes in places like Turkey, the UK and Canada. Even in the US, the debate on carbon adjustment has gained momentum. Whether CBAM could lead to a “climate club”, or other forms of multilateral climate cooperation, depends on how countries respond to the EU’s initiative. And so our focus turns to how the rest of the world sees CBAM.

Rewatch our online debate with policymakers, researchers and experts from EU institutions, member states and EU trade partners, including from the US, Turkey and India. Topics include how CBAM is perceived in third countries, and how the EU should build support for its climate initiative among its key trading partners. Our experts debated a set of statements regarding CBAM. 

Do you want to know more about the international dimension of CBAM? Here is a Clingendael publication which discusses initial responses to CBAM by several important EU trading partners: “The CBAM Effect: how the world is responding to the EU’s new climate stick”.


Welcome by Louise van Schaik, Head of EU & Global affairs unit at the Clingendael Institute

Debate & poll questions

  • David Boublil, Deputy Head of Unit, DG TAXUD, European Commission
  • Yael Taranto, Senior Energy Analyst at SHURA Enerji Dönüşümü Merkezi / Energy Transition Center
  • Pieter Pauw, Research Associate, the Clingendael Institute
  • Pierre Leturcq, Director of Studies, Europe Jacques Delors
  • Dandy Rafitrandi, Researcher, Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia
  • Susanne Dröge, Head of Department Climate Protection and Energy at the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt)
  • Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Director of the Forum on Trade, Environment and SDGs  
  • Lauren Stowe, Senior Climate Policy Advisor at Silverado Policy Accelerator  

Q&A session with the audience

Moderated by Rem Korteweg and Giulia Cretti of the Clingendael Institute