Press Release

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 European Green Deal has strengthened the level of climate ambition, increasing the asymmetry of climate efforts by aiming to achieve climate neutrality in the European Union by 2050. This raises the question of how to deal with competitive pressure and carbon leakage, pushing BCAs to the front as a possible solution.

Border carbon adjustments (BCAs) aim to alleviate negative effects caused by uneven climate policies by including imports and/or exempting exports. BCAs seek to level the playing field in competitive markets, incentivize trade partners to strengthen their own climate efforts and prevent leakage of carbon emissions to jurisdictions with weaker policies. These objectives can be achieved by a tariff or other fiscal measure applied to imported goods, the extension of regulatory compliance obligations (e.g. ETS) to imports or a tax exemption or regulatory relief for exports.

Former Republic of Korea climate change ambassador Jai-Chul Choi, who is currently co- president of CCC said “The Paris Agreement is a good platform for introducing the global scheme for carbon pricing. The BCA, if well designed, may serve a useful tool for addressing the issue of asymmetry in climate action and the principles of the Paris Agreement”.

Andrei Marcu, Executive Director of ERCST emphasized that “the BCA, its design and impacts on trade and international cooperation need to be well understood, since it will become increasingly urgent to address the effects of asymmetrical climate change policies and BCAs are presented as a serious option. As think tanks, we will cooperate with colleagues in other countries in this effort”.

CCC is the nation’s first non-governmental organization dedicated towards climate change response and is led by Dr. Young Sook Yoo, former Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea. By offering policy advice, raising awareness and strengthening Green Leadership among opinion leaders, CCC aims to lead the way towards a low-carbon society with support from a knowledgeable public-private-academia network. They aspire to strengthen the level of solidarity between citizens all over the world and stand at the forefront of the adaptation to climate change, not only in the Republic of Korea but in developing countries as well.

ERCST provides for a space for policy-makers, regulators and stakeholders to discuss climate change policy and the transition to a low GHG-economy in a sustainable way, with a focus on European climate policy but keeping in mind the global dimension of climate change policy. The experience and research input of its staff and of the stakeholders joining its activities allow ERCST to make an intellectual analysis contributing to the European and international debates on climate change policy. Continuing its work on carbon leakage protection, the ERCST is analyzing issues and options of designing BCAs in practice and discussing coherent ‘policy packages’ that could be implemented at the EU level in 2020.


Press contact
Ms. Indira Vlaminck