Canada-EU Roundtable: Carbon Border Adjustments


In order to meet their respective carbon reduction targets, both Canada and the EU are undergoing domestic processes that may involve the adoption of border carbon adjustment mechanisms (BCAs), which involve prescribe the imposition of imposing duties on imports depending on how carbon-intensive these products are. The prospect of these BCAs, which have long been raised by policymakers as a way to address concerns over “carbon leakage,” has also sparked years of debate over whether such a mechanism will be compatible with WTO rules on non-discrimination.

Currently, Canada’s 2020 Fall Economic Statement states that a BCA will be the subject of both domestic discussions as well as international debate with other countries and country groups. The EU is exploring the prospect of introducing a border carbon adjustment mechanism under its Green New Deal.

Submissions from both Canada and the EU to the structured discussions at the WTO refers to BCAs as a possible sub-topic under the overarching topic of “trade-related aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation”. However, this view is not universal, with some members suggesting that these issues are best suited for the UN climate talks or another forum.

On July 15th, the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business, the Canada EU Trade and Investment Association and McCarthy Tétrault LLP are pleased to present a high-level policy roundtable for government officials, private sector representatives and civil society stakeholders on carbon border adjustments.


Welcome remarks: Mark Camilleri, President Canada EU Trade and Investment Association

15.05 – 15.20
Opening presentation: Fredrik Erixon, Director, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)

15.20 – 15.45 Why are Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanisms required?
Doug Forsyth, Director General, Global Affairs Canada
Ignacio Garcia Bercero, DG Trade, European Commission

15.45 – 16.30 Panel Discussion: the legality and economic impact of BCAs
Martha Harrison, Partner, International Trade & Investment Law Group, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Member INTA, European Parliament – tbc
Charles-Henri Robert, Executive Director, Climate Change and Energy, cefic
Chair: Jason Langrish, Executive Director, Canada Europe Roundtable for Business

16.30 – 16.45 Q&A

16.45 – 16.50 Concluding Remarks