27 juni 2024

ETS conference recap: The road ahead for the EU ETS and CBAM after the EU elections

At the final Carbon Pricing Hub event participants discussed the future impacts and implementation of the CBAM and ETS2. The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the new EU Emissions Trading System that applies a carbon price on road transport and buildings were the major talking points at our 13 June conference in Brussels.

Representatives from industry, the European Commission and environmental and social organisations gathered for panel discussions and presentations that looked ahead to the future of the EU’s Emissions Trading System.  

CBAM: Exporting the clean transition or import protectionism?

During the morning session we focused on how CBAM will encourage Europe’s heavy industry to become more sustainable, and how this policy will influence climate action outside the EU. 

We started with presentations from Lidia Tamellini, policy expert on EU industrial decarbonisation at Carbon Market Watch, and Aymeric Amand, policy officer at Sandbag on their latest report ‘A scrap game’ assessing the expected impacts of CBAM.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring Lidia Tamellini, Niall O’Hare, group strategy and planning manager at Ecocem, Sara Svensson, policy analyst at ERCST and Romain Laugier, European Commission policy officer at DG TAXUD.

The latest developments concerning CBAM were discussed, followed by an assessment of how other countries are reacting to this border tax. This was followed by an exchange of views over the influence of CBAM on the decarbonisation of industry using the cement sector as an example.

There was a lively debate about how the revenues that CBAM generates should be spent. “The discussion over the money raised from the CBAM will likely turn into a “typical fight” between member states and the Commission, and be resolved during talks on the Multiannual Financial Framework in 2027”, suggested Romain Laugier.

Watch here the video of the panel discussion.

ETS 2: Constructive paths to decarbonisation for buildings and road transport

After lunch there were two presentations and a panel discussion on ETS2, a carbon pricing mechanism for road transport and buildings. Eleanor Scott, policy expert on EU carbon markets at Carbon Market Watch kicked off with a brief explanation of ETS 2. Milena Damianova, legal officer at DG CLIMA, followed by outlining the current state of implementation.

Robbie Stakelum, head of policy and advocacy at Social Platform, and Davide Sabbadin representing the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the Cool Heating Coalition then joined them for a panel discussion.

Participants took stock of the political discussion and shared opinions on the implementation so far, identifying what still needs to be done to ensure fair and effective carbon pricing for the decarbonisation of buildings and road transport while safeguarding vulnerable societal groups across the EU.

As the event took place a week after the European election this panel debated how to prevent a potential undermining of  ETS 2 by populist parties that may seek to weaken support for climate policies.

Watch our video to hear more about what the Commission has learned from ETS 1 and how this has helped them prepare for ETS 2, and to learn about best practices of different member states in using Social Climate Fund expenditure.