Articles, Press Releases and other news

Andrei Marcu shares his views on Border Carbon Adjustments to Adam Hannestad for the Danish newspaper Politiken

“Europe's new super-weapons in the fight for the climate - a harsh punitive tariff on goods from countries with poorer climate policies - already seems to have an effect long before it has been put into effect. 

Top leaders in countries such as Australia and Russia are so concerned about the prospect of punitive tariffs that they are already asking their governments to respond. Some of them, such as the fertiliser giant PhosAgro in Russia, are already asking for state aid to cover the damage from the customs wall that the EU is currently laying the foundation for and which is expected to be finally presented in 2021. 

Others use the topic to encourage their countries to be more active on the climate front. The latter category includes Don Russell, CEO of Australia's largest pension fund, AustralianSuper. At a major investment conference last week, he warned of what Australia's reputation as a climate deadweight could cost a lot to the country.”

The Globe and Mail interview with Aaron Cosbey on the topic of Border Carbon Adjustments

Opinion: Why carbon tariffs could be coming to Canada soon

The policy lever [Border Carbon Adjustments] has flown under the radar in Canadian politics, even though Annamie Paul, who was elected Green Party Leader in early October, has endorsed it.

That could change before long, however, if Ottawa is serious about besting its Paris Agreement commitments, and carbon pricing is to play a major role.

“It’s a sleeper issue" in Canada, says Aaron Cosbey, a leading expert on border adjustments who recently co-authored a report on implementation for the European Round Table on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. “But as soon as you get serious about your ambition” with carbon pricing, he says, the challenges the tariffs are meant to address become inescapable.

In an interview, Mr. Cosbey laid out why the policy has come into vogue, while not glossing over its complications and controversies.

Euractiv writes about ERCST's report on border carbon adjustments in the EU

Carbon tax at borders: contours still very uncertain.

The carbon tax at borders is one of the priorities of the political agenda of the European Commission as part of its Green Deal, while the latter wants to increase the emission reduction target for 2030 to 55%. Its project should be presented around June 2021, for implementation by 2022.

However, many uncertainties hover over the contours of this mechanism, which is supposed to compensate for carbon leaks and preserve the competitiveness of European companies. A challenge “closely linked” to increasing the EU's climate ambition, says the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) in a report published on September 30, supported in particular by the French and German governments . But the deadlines are approaching, underline the authors.

 

Bloomberg Green writes about ERCST's report on border carbon adjustments in the EU

Bloomberg Green, 30 September 2020

EU could add cement, power imports to ETS in initial border measures - study

Designing a carbon border tax that both works and complies with World Trade Organization rules is a major challenge. The European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition, a research group in Brussels, consulted lawmakers, EU trading partners and affected industries and set out its outlook in a major study of the options policy makers could adopt.

It expects a price should be put on imports of emissions-intensive goods, exemptions to be granted for the poorest nations and funds raised by the levy diverted to help pay for Europe’s green economic recovery.

“The mechanism will require a broader framework and is no silver bullet on its own,” said Andrei Marcu, one of the authors of the study published by the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition. “Starting in 2024-2025 we could see some sort of a pilot program. I hope it will be a weapon that the EU will never have to use.”

Reuters writes about ERCST's report on border carbon adjustments in the EU

Reuters, 30 September 2020

EU's carbon border plan likely to use emissions trading, study says

Rather than using a carbon tax, the EU appears more likely to widen its emissions trading system (ETS) to imports, non-profit research group the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) said.

The ERCST said it had based its view on communications from the Commission as well as discussions with ETS participants and international trading partners.

“The ultimate goal is to have a pricing mechanism that recognises the value of carbon in the product,” ERCST Executive Director and study co-author Andrei Marcu said.

Cabon Pulse writes about ERCST's report on border carbon adjustments in the EU

Carbon Pulse, 30 September 2020

EU carbon border measure "no silver bullet", must support existing policies - senior EC official

The Commission will in the next months assess the territorial and sectoral scope of the CBAM ahead of a proposal due mid-2021, said Gerassimos Thomas, the director-general of the EU executive’s tax and customs union department said at the launch of think-tank ERCST’s latest report.

The ERCST report assessed the different possibilities for implementing a CBAM, as well as other instruments that could either replace or complement the measure, such as consumption charges, and carbon contracts for difference (CCfD).

According to ERCST’s founder Andrei Marcu, these instruments may be implemented at national level and will be needed to support the CBAM in decarbonising the EU’s industry and create a market for low-carbon products.

ENDS Europe writes about ERCST's report on border carbon adjustments in the EU

ENDS Europe, 30 September 2020

EU tax official makes case for carbon levy on imports

The ERCST report suggests what the commission is calling a ‘carbon border adjustment mechanism’ (CBAM) – whether a customs levy or extension of the ETS to cover imports – could in theory be applied to all commodities and products.

“In practice, however, the administrative cost and technical complexity of covering a majority of traded products – especially in the case of complex manufactured goods – would be disproportionate to the environmental and competitiveness benefits,” it concludes.

Instead, the measure could be applied initially to specific sectors, such as imports of cement or electricity, according to the Brussels-based think tank, which has been very active in the recent Brussels debate over carbon pricing and reinforcing the emissions trading system (ETS).

The ERCST report acknowledges that, whatever form it takes, the CBAM developed by the European Commission would be no “silver bullet” solution to global disparities in climate ambition. Thomas agreed it must only be seen as one part of the EU's climate action and diplomatic toolkit.

Article

Carbon Pulse, 15 September 2020

MARCU MY WORDS: The vision for the EU ETS in the 2030 framework - will it be up to the challenge?

This article is the third in the Marcu My Words series by Carbon Pulse, written or co-written by Andrei Marcu, Founder and Executive Director of Brussels-based think-tank European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST).

...

At a minimum, a vision to what the ETS role is beyond 2030 needs to be provided, as it moves into “mid-life”. It is not young anymore.

A second requirement is that a vision is needed on how it will help industry decarbonise, without deindustrialising Europe, as it did for the power sector. The roles of the different tools, including the ETS, CBAM, consumption charges, contracts-for-difference, standards, etc. needs to be articulated, as well as how these tools will function together.

What we do not need is a review that has vague and general objectives – which only keeps everyone from objecting. The 55-60% target is clear, hard and challenging. The same level of clarity is needed in setting objectives and in defining what is needed in terms of changes to existing tools, and new tools if necessary.

Announcement

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and the Institute for Natural Monopolies Research in Russia announce cooperation on Border Carbon Adjustments.

BRUSSELS, Moscow (August 7, 2020) – the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Institute for Natural Monopolies Research (IPEM) in Russia in examining the role that Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) may play in addressing asymmetry in climate ambition under the Paris Agreement, with special focus on the plans that the European Union has to examine this option.

In this context, with IPEM, we will hold a virtual Russia-EU “town hall meeting” on September, 8th 2020. This activity together with other similar planned “town hall” meetings will feed into a policy paper on the international views on BCA that ERCST will publish in collaboration with its partners.

Announcement

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and European Business Association in Ukraine announce cooperation on Border Carbon Adjustments.

BRUSSELS, KIEV (July 28, 2020) – the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition is pleased to announce its collaboration with the European Business Association in Ukraine in examining the role that Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) may play in addressing asymmetry in climate ambition under the Paris Agreement, with special focus on the plans that the European Union has to examine this option.

In this context, with EBA we will hold a virtual Ukraine-EU “town hall meeting” on September, 17th 2020. This activity together with other similar planned “town hall” meetings will feed into a policy paper on the international views on BCA that ERCST will publish in collaboration with its partners.

Announcement

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and the Iniciativa Climática de Mexico announce cooperation on Border Carbon Adjustments.

BRUSSELS, MEXICO CITY (July 27, 2020) – the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) and Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM) are pleased to announce their collaboration in examining the role that Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) may play in addressing asymmetry in climate ambition under the Paris Agreement, with special focus on the plans that the European Union has to examine this option.

In this context, ERCST & ICM will hold a virtual Mexico-EU “town hall meeting” on August 27th, 2020. This activity together with other similar planned “town hall” meetings will feed into a policy paper on the international views on BCA that ERCST will publish in collaboration with its partners.

Article

Carbon Pulse, 29 June 2020

MARCU MY WORDS: Carbon Leakage and Competitiveness - different objectives, different tools

This article is the second in the Marcu My Words series by Carbon Pulse, written or co-written by Andrei Marcu, Founder and Executive Director of Brussels-based think-tank European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST).

In its feedback to the Inception Impact Assessment, ERCST, while not opposed to a BCA, has made clear its concerns about this approach: ERCST “would, in the course of the examination of how to address carbon leakage, urge a more open debate, with border carbon adjustments being one option. Other options, which may be complementary to BCA, should not be disregarded, including the creation of a framework that will lead to a market for low carbon products. Without such a market the tools available to the EU to implement the EU Green Deal will be incomplete”.

The recent report in Carbon Pulse of a statement signed by four countries, who, while also supportive of a BCA, question the total focus on BCA only, seems to vindicate this view. Germany, Belgium, Czechia and Hungary state in a recent letter that “an exchange of all possible mechanisms for protecting against carbon leakage among the member states is necessary in order to clarify the various open questions such as WTO compatibility or administrative feasibility”.

Announcement

ERCST & Duke University, 26 May 2020

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions announce cooperation on Border Carbon Adjustments.

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University are pleased to announce their collaboration in examining the role that Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) may play in addressing asymmetry in climate ambition under the Paris Agreement, with special focus on the plans that the European Union has to examine this option. In this context, ERCST & Nicholas Institute will hold a virtual USA-EU “town hall meeting” on June 17, 2020. This activity together with other similar planned “town hall” meetings will feed into a policy paper on the international views on BCA that ERCST will publish in collaboration with its partners.

Announcement

ERCST & Tokyo University, 26 May 2020

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and Graduate School for Public Policy announce cooperation on Border Carbon Adjustments.

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and the Graduate School for Public Policy at Tokyo University are pleased to announce their collaboration in examining the role that Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) may play in addressing asymmetry in climate ambition under the Paris Agreement, with special focus on the plans that the European Union has to examine this option. In this context, ERCST & GrasPP will hold a virtual Japan-EU “town hall meeting” on July 9, 2020. This activity together with other similar planned “town hall” meetings will feed into a policy paper on the international views on BCA that ERCST will publish in collaboration with its partners.

Article

Carbon Pulse, 4 May 2020

MARCU MY WORDS: Europe's Climate Law - Locking in the Future?

This article is the first in the Marcu My Words series by Carbon Pulse, written or co-written by Andrei Marcu, Founder and Executive Director of Brussels-based think-tank European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST).

The proposed Climate Law must not become an irreversible fait accompli. It has to be reinvented, time and again, and find ongoing support through continuous societal debate. The lack of vigorous societal debate on a proposal that is intended to reshape how Europeans work and live raises important questions about the political process leading up to this historical outcome. (...) With its sweeping scope and ambitious objectives, the Climate Law will recalibrate the parameters of economic activity across the continent. In particular, it will dramatically narrow the options available to member states when they decide on how to meet their current and future energy demand.

The intergenerational lock-in effects demand that we include a process for the periodic evaluation and review not only of our progress towards the objectives of the Climate Law, but also for those objectives themselves and their underlying assumptions. Just as the societal consensus on the appropriate response to climate change has continuously evolved in the past, we should expect it to continue doing so in the future. (...) At the very least, therefore, the architects of the Climate Law would be well-advised to seek consensus in the Council and incorporate a tangible, transparent process of continuous engagement with European civil society.

Article

Carbon Pulse, 28 April 2020

ETS ‘fit for purpose’ for current EU targets, but may struggle long-term -report

The EU ETS is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver the bloc’s current climate objectives, even despite the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic,
but it will struggle to deliver the long-term ambitions under the European Green Deal in its current shape, according to a report released
Tuesday.

The 2020 State of the EU ETS Report, the fifth annual assessment by expert forum European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable
Transition (ERCST), determined that the 8.9% decline in GHG emissions reduction from covered sectors in 2019 reassures that the carbon
market can achieve the 27-nation bloc’s current climate objectives.

Press Release

ERCST & CCC, 17 April 2020

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and Climate Change Center announce cooperation on Border Carbon Adjustments.

BRUSSELS, SEOUL (April, 17th 2020) – The European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) and the Climate Change Center (CCC) of Korea are pleased to announce their collaboration in examining the role that Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) may play in addressing asymmetry in climate ambition under the Paris Agreement, with special focus on the plans that the European Union has to examine this option. In this context, ERCST & CCC will hold a virtual Korea-EU “town hall meeting” on July 1, 2020. This activity together with other similar planned “town hall” meetings will feed into a policy paper on the international views on BCA that ERCST will publish in collaboration with its partners.

The Politics of Border Carbon Adjustments in the European Green Deal - Dream or Reality?

The Next Generation of Carbon Markets

Environmental Insights - Interview with Andrei Marcu