Critique of border adjustment – economics

Martin Brudermüller must also first “digest” such a package. The CEO of the chemical company BASF is probably used to evaluating large documents quickly and efficiently. The “Fit for 55” climate package, which the European Commission presented in mid-July, has more than 3,400 pages. It contains proposals on how the EU intends to meet its climate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. And how does Europe will become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 to emit only as much CO₂ as it removes from the atmosphere by technical or natural means.

The package doesn’t contain many surprises, Brudermüller said on a half-year figures conference call on Wednesday. BASF released the first figures on July 9 and raised its forecast for the year.

In previous discussions, it was possible to modify one or the other in order to reduce the burden on the climate package. “But it’s a heavy package,” Brudermuller said. He himself had tightened his group’s climate targets at the end of March. BASF wants to be climate neutral from 2050, and by 2030 the amount of greenhouse gases emitted is expected to decrease by a quarter compared to 2018, at the time they were just under 22 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent in the group.

He views “CBAM” with a critical eye, said Brudermüller. The abbreviation stands for Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, a CO₂ border adjustment. This aims to increase imports from countries where climate regulations are not or less strict and to prevent national companies from relocating CO₂-intensive production abroad. Compensation is to be collected for cement, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizers and electricity from 2026. “It won’t work,” Brudermüller warned. He doubted that such a system would conform to WTO rules and be very bureaucratic. The BASF boss spoke about long and branching value chains. “You would have to know the CO₂ load for each product imported and exported. It’s impossible. “Fit for 55” is still a question of proposals and not of laws. And Brudermüller still has a few questions.

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