Friday, 17 February 2023

The European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and implications for South African exports

  • Year: 2023
  • Author(s): Lerato Monaisa and Seutame Maimele (TIPS)

In 2019, the European Union (EU) introduced the Fit for 55 policy package. The policy package aims to reduce the EU’s net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It includes the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), a carbon border tax on embedded GHGs of carbon-intensive products imported into the EU.

The first proposal of the CBAM was published in July 2021. Since July 2021, the CBAM has undergone significant changes. In May 2022, the European Parliamentary Committee on Environment, the implementing agent of the CBAM, published amendments to the CBAM. In June 2022, the European Parliament voted on and approved these amendments. In December 2022, members of the European Parliament reached a provisional and conditional agreement with the European Council on CBAM, with rules to apply from 1 October 2023 with a transition period. The agreement was endorsed by the ENVI in February 2023. It needs to be confirmed by ambassadors of the EU Member States and by the European Parliament and adopted by both institutions before its finalisation.

The TIPS policy brief, European Green Deal: The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and implications for South African and European Union trade by Lerato Monaisa (2021), provided an initial analysis of the impact of the CBAM on South African exports. This policy brief provides an updated analysis, reflecting on the implications of the new provisionally agreed CBAM proposal for South African exports.

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