What is Carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM)

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a policy measure proposed by the European Union (EU) to address carbon leakage and ensure fair competition between domestic and foreign producers in carbon-intensive industries.

The CBAM aims to level the playing field by imposing a carbon price on imports of certain goods from countries with less ambitious climate policies. By doing so, it seeks to prevent carbon leakage, which occurs when companies relocate their production to regions with laxer emissions constraints to avoid the costs associated with stringent climate regulations. The mechanism is designed to apply to a range of carbon-intensive sectors, such as iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, aluminum, and electricity generation.
Key Bullet Points:


Prevent carbon leakage and maintain the competitiveness of European industries
Encourage other countries to adopt more ambitious climate policies
Create a level playing field for domestic producers subject to the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS)


Importers of covered goods would be required to purchase carbon certificates
The carbon price would be equivalent to the price paid by EU producers under the ETS
Effectively extends the EU’s carbon pricing system to imports

Sectors Covered:

    • Iron and Steel
    • Cement
    • Fertilizers
    • Aluminum
    • Electricity generation
    • Hydrogen
    • Polymers and texties are next in line


    gradual phase-in approach
    Reporting requirement for importers in 2023
    Gradual introduction of carbon pricing mechanism over subsequent years

    Concerns and Debates:

    Potential trade implications and burden on developing countries
    Compatibility with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules
    Perceived as protectionism or unfair discrimination against foreign producers

    Potential Benefits:

    Incentivize other countries to adopt ambitious climate policies
    Maintain competitiveness of European industries in the global market
    Catalyst for broader adoption of carbon pricing mechanisms

    The CBAM represents a significant step towards addressing carbon leakage and promoting a global shift towards more sustainable production practices. While it has sparked debates and concerns from various stakeholders, proponents argue that it is a necessary measure to maintain the competitiveness of European industries and encourage other countries to adopt more ambitious climate policies.

    Effective international cooperation and dialogue will be crucial in mitigating potential trade tensions and ensuring the CBAM is implemented in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. If successful, the CBAM could serve as a model for other regions to adopt similar mechanisms, paving the way for a more coordinated global approach to tackling climate change.

    Ultimately, the CBAM aims to create a level playing field for domestic and foreign producers while incentivizing a transition towards a low-carbon economy. Its implementation will require careful consideration of economic, environmental, and diplomatic factors to strike a balance between addressing carbon leakage, maintaining competitiveness, and promoting fair trade practices.

    Related Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    5 key reasons that makes Carbon Registry India ideal standard for India 5 things you should know about COP