MEP Manuela Ripa on today’s vote in the European Parliament on a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

"The European Parliament introduces a new instrument for global climate protection with a CO2 border adjustment tax.”

Brussels, 22.06.2022 – Today in Brussels, the European Parliament voted in a second attempt on three core proposals of the EU climate package “Fit for 55” – the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the Social Climate Fund and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

MEP Manuela Ripa (ÖDP) who is shadow rapporteur for CBAM for her group Greens/EFA welcomes the outcome of today’s vote. “Especially today’s decision to introduce a CO2 border adjustment tax sets new standards for European and also global industrial production. The avoidance of CO2 will be rewarded and the conversion to corresponding climate-neutral processes will finally be set in motion worldwide. In this way,  also third countries will be incentivised to take stricter climate protection measures.

With the vote in the Environment Committee in mid-May, we had presented an ambitious instrument in line with WTO law. Despite many efforts by Christian Democrats, Liberals and anti-Europeans to water down the entire climate protection package, this was averted in plenary at the beginning of June, largely thanks to the efforts my group Greens/EFA. Today, we have achieved a better result.

Although the end of the phasing out of free emission allowances under the EU-ETS will now be two years later than we orginally demanded, this still improves the original Commission proposal. We have achieved a good outcome with ambitious climate protection targets for CBAM. The free allocation of EU ETS emission allowances, which ultimately did not advance the decarbonisation of industry to the necessary extent, will finally come to an end with CBAM and can then no longer be used as a cover for a barely functioning system“, says Ripa.

Manuela Ripa welcomes the fact that the EU Parliament was able to add further improvements to the original Commission proposal. For example, instead of 27 different national authorities to supervise the compliance with CBAM, a single EU CBAM authority will be established. This auhtority will prevent, identify and penalize any type of circumvention including abuse and fraud. Moreover, it was possible to keep a clause in the final text, which ensures that CBAM revenues will be used to provide financial assistance to least developed countries to help decarbonise their industries. Compared to the Commission’s original proposal, the Greens/EFA group managed to strengthen anti-circumvention measures in the regulation. So-called downstream products, i.e. products composed of several materials, will also be covered by the CO2 border adjustment tax at a later stage. Ripa regrets, however, that the instrument was weakened in the area of export rebates and the scope of application, where she and her group would clearly have liked to see more.

“We are facing a turning point that requires new instruments. Thanks to today’s vote, we Europeans are introducing CBAM, a global new instrument that takes climate protection seriously. We need CBAM as a strong instrument for the industrial policy shift towards CO2 free technologies. In this way, we also create long-term structures for a new, climate-friendly global trade. In the upcoming trilogue negotiations, we must now continue to fight for strong climate protection”, concludes the politician.