The European Union (EU) is advancing in the development of its proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), which would impose a carbon price on EU imports of materials and products as a way to address concerns about competitiveness and carbon leakage.
Depending on how it is ultimately structured, the EU CBAM tends to prompt reactions in developing as well as developed countries, whether by enacting similar unilateral measures or initiating disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge the compatibility of the EU’s mechanism with international trade rules.
In addition, the establishment of the EU CBAM and the prospect of the creation of similar mechanisms stresses the need for a harmonized carbon (or, more generally, greenhouse gas [GHG]) accounting methodology that will allow accurate, transparent, reliable, and comparable measurements of the GHG footprint of traded materials and products.
Columbia Law School, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) co-hosted an online/in-person 90-min-long interactive expert panel on economic, legal, political, and GHG accounting aspects of the EU CBAM and similar mechanisms that may be created elsewhere to combat the climate emergency.
Panel 1: Economic and GHG accounting aspects
Scott Vaughan, International Chief Advisor, China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED); Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Aaron Cosbey, Senior Associate, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Paul Brenton, Lead Economist, Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment, World Bank
Perrine Toledano, Head: Mining and Energy, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)
Moderator:Petros Mavroidis, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign & Comparative Law, Columbia Law School
Panel 2: Legal and political aspects
Michael Mehling, Deputy Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, MIT
Susanne Dröge, Senior Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Kateryna Holzer, Senior Researcher, Center of Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law (CCEEL), University of Eastern Finland
Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, New York University (NYU) School of Law
Moderator:Aaron Cosbey, Senior Associate, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)