Europe: The European cement producers’ association Cembureau says that a possible reduction of European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) free allowances would endanger cement producers’ investment decisions and projects. It says that this in turn might produce competition distortions with third parties. The EU is planning to implement a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) but the association is concerned that its ‘Fit for 55’ 55% CO2 emissions reduction target for 2030 may have negative implications for the cement industry. However, the association said that it supported the concept of a CBAM.
Cembureau has called for a transition period until 2030 whereby free allocation under the EU ETS will continue fully alongside the introduction of the CBAM. It added that this is compatible with World Trade Organisation rules and avoids any form of ‘double protection’ provided the free allocation is taken into account when calculating the levy paid by any third-party importers. It further stated that the CBAM must cover both direct and indirect emissions. It has also continued to press the legislators to provide for a CO2 charge exemption for EU exporters to third countries, if the country in question is not covered by an equivalent carbon pricing mechanism. The association asked the EU to consider implementing secondary legislation before any CBAM enters force, and to ensure consistency of ‘Fit for 55’ legislative initiatives, applied across a sufficient breadth of sectors to preclude market distortions.