GT11 – The EU CBAM and the path to sustainable trade policies: from 'coexistence' to 'cooperation'
Long examined by the academic literature as a challenging technical-legal fiction with a strong geopolitical impact, border carbon adjustment is on its way to becoming a European reality. This paper provides an overview of the European legislative process with a comparison of the initial Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) project presented by the Commission in July 2021 with the positions formalised by the European Parliament and the Council in 2022. With a detour through the doctrine of international law and building upon the work of Professor. Thomas Cottier on the concept of Common Concern of Humankind (CCH) in international law, the paper examines the European CBAM, and more broadly, the recent multiplication of unilateral environmental initiatives with extraterritorial impacts, as a contextual transition from a logic of coexistence to a logic of cooperation in the field of environmental policies. It concludes on the necessity to design the European CBAM accordingly by redistributing its direct revenues and developing open and inclusive cooperation frameworks, to accelerate this transition in the field of industrial decarbonisation.
This article was selected for publication in the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies (January 2023): https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-yearbook-of-european-legal-studies/article/abs/european-carbon-border-adjustment-mechanism-and-the-path-to-sustainable-trade-policies-from-coexistence-to-cooperation/CB2F765DADDFD66DBE943EE184E18C7D