Carbon tax at the borders of Europe: one more step has just been taken

Meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, the European Ministers of Economy and Finance approved their roadmap by a very large majority.

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A compromise was finally reached between all the member countries of the European Union on Tuesday 15 March. France, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the Union until June, had made it a priority. Emmanuel Macron marks a first attempt there. Test that will have to be transformed because it is for the moment a political agreement.

This general orientation of Estates comes as the European Parliament must decide on the Commission’s project by the summer. Only then will a definitive agreement be reached, probably before the end of this year for a gradual entry into force next year. Tuesday’s vote remains a major decision for the decarbonization of our industries.

This tax is precisely called the “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism”. This MACF will make it possible to tax imports from the European Union in five sectors, namely electricity, cement, fertilizers, steel and aluminium.

First, to preserve the competitiveness of European industry in the face of highly carbon-intensive production imported from outside, generally from emerging countries. Then, to avoid the relocation of European companies which would be tempted to go and produce elsewhere, in those countries which pay little heed to production conditions and greenhouse gas emissions.

The amount of this tax is still under discussion. It will be set according to the level of pollution generated by the production of the goods in question. As for the income it will generate, it is roughly estimated that one billion euros per year will be allocated directly to the EU budget. It’s not huge, but this new own resource will initially contribute to the reimbursement of the European recovery plan.

An important point remains to be settled: the 27 have still not decided on the project to abolish the free emission quotas allocated until now to European industrialists. Discussions continue on this thorny subject.

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