Watt Matters Podcast - 21/April/2023

The EU’s new trade weapon

Decarbonising is easy when a regulator can set rules and regulations for the territory it oversees. But how do you convince other countries or regions to go green? A new hybrid trade and climate superweapon recently created by the EU aims to solve that conundrum. Get ready for the CBAM


From FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Watt Matters is a podcast all about the energy transition and the shift to a decarbonised economy.

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Greenhouse gas emissions are a global problem as carbon dioxide and the heating side-effects caused by it do not respect national frontiers. This means that a country or region that may have the best decarbonisation intentions will only partly achieve its objectives if the rest of the planet is not playing by the same rule book.

An innovative and, in some circles, controversial new climate superweapon designed by the European Union is coming into frame. The carbon border adjustment mechanism, known as CBAM, is a variant of a carbon border tax that will soon be deployed at the EU’s trade borders.

A select list of imports that do not respect certain green criteria will be slapped with extra charges, in a bid to get trade partners to follow the EU’s lead and get serious about the energy transition. The mere idea of CBAM has already prompted some governments to start designing their own systems in order to avoid the anti-climate-dumping regime, while others are crying foul and threatening to lodge complaints at the highest level.

Watt Matters is joined by one of the architects of CBAM, MEP Mohammed Chahim, in order to delve into the detail of the new tool in the EU’s green arsenal. The discussion with one of the European Parliament’s most intelligent and thoughtful energy lawmakers looks at what the complex negotiations settled on, what was rejected and what the future holds for the new rules.

Also don’t miss why today’s guest was chased into a public toilet by overly enthusiastic lobbyists.

Enjoy the show.

If you have any thoughts or questions about anything that has been discussed in this week’s episode, you can reach us at our Twitter accounts:
Mohammed Chahim
Oliver Sartor
Sam Morgan
Michaela Holl
Jan Rosenow
David Weston
FORESIGHT Climate & Energy

Listen and subscribe to Watt Matters wherever you get podcasts. Follow us on Twitter at @WattMattersPod or email us at show@wattmatterspodcast.com. You can also find FORESIGHT Climate & Energy on LinkedIn.

Illustration: Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva.

Show notes:
Germany’s e-fuel EU loophole could mean ‘135bn more litres of petrol burnt’
Europe’s Net-Zero Industry Act: What does it mean for carbon capture and storage? – Clean Air Task Force
EU space programme, Green Deal endangered by Brexit vacuum – EURACTIV.com


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