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Jeffrey Lu's picture
Green Gases Team, (International Renewable Energy Agency) IRENA

Part of the Green Gases Team at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), our goal is to advocate and support countries in the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy and to...

  • Member since 2021
  • 2 items added with 991 views
  • Jul 23, 2021

As part of the 'Fit for 55' package released last week by the European Commission under the EU Green Deal, the EU Carbon Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) looks to be at the forefront of not only pushing the EU's climate ambitions but also placing strong international pressure onto other nations to follow suit. The released CBAM mechanism that will be implemented from 2023 will focus only on cement, iron and steel, aluminum, fertiliser, and electricity and still does not have the detail required to address other significant categories such as petrochemicals, hydrogen, etc.

As Dolf Gielen and the colleagues at IRENA point out, the relocation of energy-intensive industries can have climate and social-economic benefits, however this can only be achieved with a comprehensive set of standards and certification systems to accompany the CBAM which is still currently lacking. Hopefully the transitional phase from 2023-2025 of the CBAM implementation will allow the European Commission time to develop stronger and more robust amendments to the CBAM to ensure the EU and the world will reach our united climate ambitions.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 23, 2021

Is this lack of detail perhaps just a roll out strategy-- collect feedback on the initial sectors covered and take that into account for the next stages? Or is it in fact that they're lacking the ambition (or even courage) to go all out with it?


Thanks for sharing, Jeffrey!

Jeffrey Lu's picture
Jeffrey Lu on Jul 23, 2021

Hi Matt! Thanks for your comment and the discussion, I think it is a combination of both these factors, I think the fact that the CBAM has significant global implications and the complexity of the mechanism have deterred the EC from creating a more detailed plan. However, as we have seen before, the more ambitious climate policies and mechanisms usually fare better over the long-term. I really hope that the transitional phase will allow the EC to get more feedback and double down on the CBAM!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 23, 2021

Sometimes the gridlock makes sense for deliberation in massive undertakings, but obviously climate and decarbonization are hyper-time sensitive so hopefully they can push through in ways that would take longer for other areas of policy. Thanks again

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Jul 23, 2021

Thanks for this post Jeffrey. 

I wonder where Nordstream 2 gas fits into CBAM.  Would the increased availability of gas not work against CBAM implementation?

Jeffrey Lu's picture
Thank Jeffrey for the Post!
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