Free pass to pollute holds future of industry & planet hostage
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
Today, the European Parliament has voted in favour of a new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. The Greens/EFA had campaigned in 2019 in favour of a carbon border adjustment to extend the coverage of our climate policy to imported emissions and cover the EU's global carbon footprint. While support for this mechanism remains unquestionable for the Greens/EFA, the group abstained on the final vote as last minute amendments to the report will see polluters continue to be given a free pass.
For the Greens/EFA group, the introduction of a fair carbon border adjustment mechanism should not only honour our climate commitments but also to help to rebuild a secure and innovative European industrial base that generates new jobs. The revenues from this mechanism should be deployed in developing countries and support the European budget, in particular for the financing of the European Union's green transition.
Yannick Jadot, Greens/EFA MEP and Rapporteur for the European Parliament on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, comments:
"The creation of a carbon mechanism at the EU's borders is a test of credibility and legitimacy for the European Union in the fight against climate change and for the protection of our jobs and industries. We have a unique opportunity set up a link between real climate protection, the fight against unfair competition and climate dumping, and low-carbon industrial innovation. This dynamic can contribute to the reindustrialisation of Europe and create the skilled jobs of tomorrow.
"The compromises voted in the Environment Committee with the major political groups, reflected concerns about the environmental integrity and WTO compatibility of this mechanism, which are necessary for this mechanism to function. The report adopted in the Environment Committee agreed that with the introduction of the border carbon mechanism, from 2023 the free allowance scheme would be phased out rapidly. This is the only way to encourage industry to reduce their emissions while respecting the rules of fair competition.
"Unfortunately, in the last few days, certain lobby groups have intervened to continue to benefit from the free allowances on top of a carbon border adjustment and have seriously reduced the ambition of the text. The European Commission has repeatedly stated that free allowances and border carbon adjustment cannot coexist for environmental reasons and due to compatibility with World Trade Organisation rules.
"The right and the extreme-right have torpedoed, by a narrow majority of 15 votes, the dynamic that would allow the re-industrialisation of Europe and the creation of the skilled jobs of tomorrow. These MEPs are hindering the fight against climate change and weakening our industry, which risks not being able to seize the opportunity represented by the conversion to a decarbonised economy. The battle has just only begun, with the European Commission presenting its legislative proposal in June. The Greens/EFA group will take part to the discussions, with determination and ambition.”