Can the EU afford to go away world markets to decarbonize? –


The EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is designed to mitigate the chance of carbon  leakage by imposing a levy on GHG emission-intensive items imported from nations the place no carbon  pricing is in place. In its first section, it’ll cowl extremely traded items in sectors at a excessive threat of carbon  leakage comparable to metal, cement, aluminium, electrical energy, and fertilizers. 

Mr Lars Røsæg is the Government Vice President Company Improvement & Deputy CEO at Yara Worldwide.

As Europe’s largest fertilizer producer, Yara believes that CBAM is important to allow the decarbonization of the EU fertilizers sector and to make sure a aggressive enjoying discipline within the inside  market between European producers and importers. Nonetheless, the present design of CBAM will solely creat a degree enjoying discipline for imports, with out contemplating European exports in world markets. EU fertilizers will change into uncompetitive in direction of non-EU producers, in nations with laxer or non-existent  local weather laws. 

A one footed CBAM will undermine its total local weather goal, inflicting the measure to have the  following penalties for Europe, except an export mechanism is embedded:  

  1. It’ll transfer, and probably improve, emissions exterior the EU, as an alternative of slicing emissions, as per the EU Local weather neutrality goal and the Paris Settlement. 
  2. It’ll lower the competitiveness and resilience of the EU fertilizer trade, which is  essential to make sure meals safety in Europe and globally. Europe must work urgently to  cut back its dependency on nations like Russia for meals and fertilizers. In contrast to different CBAM  sectors, the fertilizer sector will depend on the seasonality of agriculture, serving farmers in each  the Northern and the Southern hemispheres. 
  3. With different nations incentivizing decarbonization, such because the US and its Inflation Discount  Act (IRA), the present CBAM design will considerably cut back Europe’s means to compete on  world markets and weaken its management within the inexperienced transition. 

The necessity for a powerful European fertilizer trade 

Jeopardizing the EU fertilizer trade will lead to a big improve in emissions globally. Nitrate  fertilizers produced in Europe have a considerably decrease carbon footprint (round 50-60% much less) in contrast  to most non-EU fertilizers. We have to be certain that short-term actions don’t result in long-term results  and adjustments in agricultural practices that shall be troublesome to undo. 

As a substitute of weakening the place of the European fertilizer trade, which is a frontrunner in decarbonization, we have to coordinate huge efforts to succeed in zero emissions whereas, on the identical time, lowering our dependencies on Russia. For this, we’d like a levelled enjoying discipline for EU low- carbon  merchandise.

Along with the extremely troublesome problem of coping with an unprecedented price of dwelling in European  member states, EU coverage makers are confronted with elevated geopolitical threat, the local weather disaster, and  the implications of a pandemic – all whereas making an attempt to help residents, particularly farmers, in addition to  different stakeholders alongside the best way. 

How will we make CBAM a robust device to decarbonize, while on the identical time strengthening EU  exports and meals safety? Not a straightforward reply, however a match for goal CBAM-measure shall be one step in  the appropriate course to keep away from a worst-case situation for Europe.  

That is how an export mechanism will be a part of CBAM 

When in comparison with the European Fee’s proposal, the European Parliament’s place on  exports is a welcome political sign and represents a transparent enchancment in the best way that it retains free  allocations for exports. The significance of the difficulty is now well known, and it’s now key that an  specific export adjustment mechanism is embedded within the last CBAM and ETS authorized texts. 

A match for goal CBAM should account for commerce flows to and from the European market. This may allow  EU industries to decarbonize, while bringing buying and selling companions to match the identical local weather and  environmental targets. Not least, we’ll create a discipline for competitors and for main the best way to a  net-zero future. These are the pillars the CBAM measure ought to depend on: 

  • Defending EU exports competitiveness. Discount of free allowances and rising carbon  costs will trigger a dramatic improve in manufacturing prices in Europe. In Europe, fertilizer costs  will improve accordingly. On the worldwide market the European product shall be changed by carbon  intensive merchandise from different areas. 
  • Incentivizing decarbonization. Finally, a strong CBAM measure wants to make sure that we don’t transfer EU-emissions elsewhere, however relatively allow decarbonization on a world scale. This is especially true for the fertilizers sector, the place EU nitrate merchandise have -50% carbon footprint  in comparison with non-EU merchandise. 
  • WTO suitable. CBAM should stay throughout the World Commerce Organisation (WTO) guidelines. These guidelines forestall governments from subsidizing exports to undercut rivals, or from incentivizing exports over home gross sales. Legally it’s confirmed that there are prospects for EU  exporters to be exempted from CBAM and ETS regulatory obligations, or the measure will be  reframed as a carbon price making it corresponding to VAT. 

The bottom line is levelling the enjoying discipline 

Europe has the potential to strengthen its place throughout this time of disaster and take lead within the inexperienced  transition. As a substitute, we are actually jeopardizing EU export competitiveness, world meals safety and  undermining the trade that ought to have been a world frontrunner in decarbonization. 

In our work in direction of a net-zero future, it’s crucial that the present risky setting doesn’t  distract the EU from its long-term local weather ambition. It’s unthinkable that we’ll attain the local weather targets  with no sturdy, inexperienced European trade, or by partaking in subsidy races between nations. 

We have to work for world cooperation to rebalance the enjoying discipline amongst commerce companions. Solely  by means of cooperation will we have the ability to remedy the numerous world challenges and crises of our time. This  implies that Europe has the potential to strengthen its place by persevering with to spearhead the inexperienced  transition and by constructing its strategic autonomy in meals and fertilizers. This is a chance we can’t  let go off, as will probably be essential to make sure a extra sustainable and safe world meals system, free from  susceptible dependencies.

 CBAM: Why an answer is required for exports | Yara Worldwide

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