When Climate Action is Justified, Carbon Import Fees Are Warranted

Momentum continues to build worldwide for the use of carbon import fees, policies that charge importers for the emissions embedded in traded goods. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body … Continued

The PROVE IT Act is a Win for U.S. Industry and the Environment

On January 18, 2024, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works advanced the bipartisan “Providing Reliable, Objective, Verifiable Emissions Intensity and Transparency (PROVE IT) Act.” Introduced by Senators … Continued

The PROVE IT Act Explained

The Providing Reliable, Objective, Verifiable Emissions Intensity Act, or PROVE IT Act, directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to study and report the average emissions intensity of nearly two dozen … Continued

Carbon Import Fees: Active and Proposed Policies

This blog post will be updated as more details emerge. Climate and trade policies are gaining momentum across the world, partly due to an increasing awareness of the “carbon loophole” … Continued

Key Takeaways from COP28

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, concluded last week in Dubai. Over the course of 13 days, the conference brought together a record-breaking 97,000+ participants in … Continued

The Clean Competition Act: No (WTO) Exceptions Necessary?

There are rules, and then there are exceptions to the rules. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has both, as illustrated by the recent trade tensions over “carbon border adjustments”—the application … Continued

In Brief: Carbon Import Fees and the WTO

In September, we released the report Carbon Import Fees and the WTO, a first-of-its-kind legal analysis of how different climate and trade policy proposals might fare if challenged by member … Continued

Climate Policy, WTO Rules, and the Fork in the Road

As Yogi Berra observed, predictions are hard to make, particularly about the future. But that hasn’t stopped critics of Senator Bill Cassidy’s recently introduced “Foreign Pollution Fee Act” (FPFA) from … Continued

International Climate Policy: Collaboration, Competition, or Both?

On November 2, 2023, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced his Foreign Pollution Fee Act with support from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). This long-awaited proposal will leverage the U.S. carbon advantage, … Continued

Potential CBAM Impacts on U.S. Industry

The EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the world’s first carbon import fee on internationally traded goods, entered its inaugural phase on October 1, marking a profound transformation for the … Continued

CBAM Emissions Accounting – Thorough Guidance with Too Much Flexibility

The EU has finalized rules to govern the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) transition phase, which imposes a reporting requirement on importers of select covered goods. Beginning October 1st and … Continued

Will the International Interest in Carbon Import Fees Lead to a Carbon Club?

Carbon import fees—a price imposed on imported goods based on their carbon intensity, largely targeting energy-intensive and trade-exposed products—are gaining traction as an important element in addressing global climate goals. … Continued

Economic Protectionism v. Environmental Protection

Interest in climate and trade policy is growing as the EU prepares to implement its CBAM and multiple U.S. senators explore their own ideas for carbon intensity import fee legislation. … Continued

Principles for Well-Designed Carbon Intensity Import Fees in the United States

Trade is a mass disseminator of resources, technology, and best practices. And yet, it is the most underdeveloped tool in the climate playbook. Increasingly, policymakers are considering trade policies to … Continued

T-3 Months Until CBAM Launch: Rules Released for the Transition Phase

In May of 2022, the European Parliament officially approved its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to charge carbon-intensive imports for their emissions. Before it can determine fee structures for individual … Continued

Articulating the U.S. Carbon Advantage

Climate Leadership Council research has demonstrated that American manufacturers across industries are highly carbon efficient compared to overseas competitors. This “carbon advantage” was initially highlighted in the Council’s 2020 study, … Continued

Why Charge Imports for their Carbon Emissions?

Over the past two years, U.S. lawmakers have expressed growing interest in border carbon adjustments (BCA), pollution import fees, and new trade deals to charge products based on carbon intensity. … Continued

How Carbon Pricing Accelerates Innovation & Deployment

It’s widely accepted that decarbonizing the global economy will be essential for stopping many of the detrimental effects associated with global warming, but so far, action isn’t rising to meet … Continued

Are Tariff Rates on Energy-Intensive Trade-Exposed (EITE) Goods Contributing to the Carbon Loophole?

Climate change, supply chain issues, and geopolitical concerns are sparking new questions about the status quo of trade policies. To meaningfully address these challenges, policymakers must adjust the international trade … Continued

Carbon Pricing in the Shipping Industry

Emissions from international shipping have climbed rapidly over the last decade and could account for more than 17% of global emissions by 2050. Yet the 2015 Paris Agreement does not … Continued

Climate Policy in 2023

2022 was a pivotal year for climate policy. Congress passed the biggest climate bill in U.S. history, the EU reached a deal on a carbon border adjustment mechanism, and state … Continued

The Climate Club: Creating a More Effective Arena for Climate Mitigation

In November, COP27 culminated with international agreement to form a new “Loss and Damage” Fund, in which developed countries would compensate developing countries for the climate-linked costs that they cannot … Continued

Next Step After COP: Plugging the Carbon Loophole

At the U.N.’s COP27 climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt earlier this month, world leaders met to discuss and debate various proposals to minimize the effects of climate change. Some … Continued

Transatlantic Climate and Trade Relations: Conflict or Cooperation?

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, with its $369 billion commitment to addressing climate change, has been described as the most significant climate legislation in U.S. … Continued

Republican Voters Want Climate Leadership: A How-To Guide for Republican Leaders

In the annals of traditional Republican orthodoxy, climate change was viewed as a progressive issue, but that’s changing rapidly as a growing number of conservatives are newly energized on climate … Continued

The Kigali Amendment is a Win for Climate and U.S. Industry

When the Senate ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on September 21 by a vote of 69 to 27, twenty-one Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in adopting an … Continued

New Study Highlights Carbon Advantage of U.S. Chemicals Industry

The chemicals industry can play a pivotal role in decarbonizing the global economy. Chemical products serve as ingredients in the fuels and technologies that are essential for cutting emissions, such … Continued

Why Does America Have a Carbon Advantage?

The United States is one of the world’s most carbon efficient economies, producing goods with far less emissions than almost any other economy. This “carbon advantage” has been well documented, … Continued

Looking Ahead

The Council Discusses What Comes Next for U.S. Climate Policy By most accounts, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the most significant climate bill to ever pass the U.S. Congress. … Continued

Assessing Impacts to U.S. Industry from the EU’s Proposed CBAM 

We at the Council analyzed the impact of a European Union plan to charge certain carbon-intensive goods for the emissions released during their production. Though the plan is far from finalized and … Continued

Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Authority to Regulate Carbon Emissions

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants underscores the need for Congress to step in and pass … Continued

Does a BCA Require a Carbon Price?

Across continents and political aisles border carbon adjustments (BCAs) have been gaining increasing attention and interest among policymakers. This is encouraging. Setting the global economy on a trajectory to meet … Continued

European Parliament Passes CBAM

The European Parliament approved a plan this week to charge some imports for their emissions in a big step towards harmonizing climate and trade in one of the world’s largest economies.  The … Continued

What Industries Import the Most Emissions to the U.S.?

Where and how goods are made has a huge impact on how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere during their manufacture. Most climate policies around the world have … Continued

A Border Adjustment Would Promote U.S. Energy Security and Weaken Russia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent the West searching for tools to weaken Vladimir Putin and deter Russian aggression. There’s a way to neutralize Russia, promote American energy independence, and … Continued

Next Up for Carbon Accounting: ‘Cradle-to-Border’ Emissions

Border carbon adjustments are gaining momentum in Washington as a way to reward trade in low-carbon goods and boost clean, U.S. manufacturers. To implement a fair and effective border adjustment … Continued

The G7 + Climate Club: A Path to Global Decarbonization

On May 20, the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers and central bank governors released a communique stating their intent to explore a “climate club,” a formal alliance between like-minded countries to … Continued

Biden Admin to Aim High on Climate-Trade Deals

The Center for Climate and Trade hosted its first in-person event last week, and if we had to pick one takeaway from the discussion it’s this: the Biden administration wants … Continued

Why We Should Leverage U.S. Solar’s Carbon Advantage

Worldwide solar capacity has increased over two thousand-fold in the last 20 years to more than 700 gigawatts, putting solar power at the center of the clean energy transition. As … Continued

Emissions from Imports: An Untapped Opportunity for Decarbonization

When we tally a country’s carbon emissions, we typically consider only those emissions generated within its borders. But this approach misses an important dynamic in the global economy: while emissions … Continued

Carbon Pricing: The Best Way to Achieve the Power Grid of the Future

When the electricity system fails, the consequences can be deadly. The 2021 outages in Texas due to extreme cold are estimated to have killed more than 100 people, while burdening … Continued

We Have the Data We Need to Track Emissions in Global Trade

As the idea of using trade mechanisms to reduce climate emissions gains steam around the world, a common claim is that companies lack the data and standardized methodologies to calculate … Continued

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