Zoom, 15h-16h Brussels time

The EU has set itself a difficult task to accomplish: reduce CO2 emissions by 50-55% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The achievement of these goals would make it a world pioneer in climate policy. To reach these targets however, various policy instruments have been suggested in the European Green Deal, with the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) being one of the most important but also more controversial ones. This mechanism would put a "carbon price" on imports of certain goods from outside the EU. The aim would be to reduce the risk of "carbon leakage" by protecting EU companies against cheaper imports from countries with weaker climate policies, and at the same time counteract the transfer of production (and jobs) from the EU to those countries. According to the European Commission, the CBAM would be an alternative to the free emissions allowances allocated under the EU Emissions Trading System, which have attracted a lot of criticism.

Following many years of discussions, this new policy instrument is now scheduled to be adopted in the second quarter of 2021. However, the proposal remains controversial with respect to its effectiveness at addressing the problem of carbon leakage, its political and legal feasibility, and its practical implementation, benchmarks and scope.

This ETUI webinar will consider the CBAM's potential as an important pillar of the European climate policy in the near future. The speakers will present their views on the viability of the proposed scheme and discuss possible alternatives as well as policies that could be implemented in parallel, in order to reinforce the social-ecological transition.


  • Benjamin Denis, Policy Advisor industriAll Europe - Download the presentation here
  • Mathilde Dupré, Co-Director of the Veblen Institute - Download the presentation here
  • Georg Zachmann, Senior Fellow Bruegel - Find here his paper

Host: Mariya Nikolova, Communication officer ETUI