Foreign trade

    Climate protection only works if everyone plays a part

    A CO₂ border adjustment mechanism needs to create a level playing field with equal conditions for all. Otherwise, industrial production will migrate to those countries where much more carbon dioxide is emitted to achieve the same result.

    A CO₂ border adjustment mechanism needs to create a level playing field with equal conditions for all. Otherwise, industrial production will migrate to those countries where much more carbon dioxide is emitted to achieve the same result.

    Global approach to climate protection

    Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, proposed a CO₂ border adjustment measure at the beginning of her term in office. The aim should be to impose a levy on selected goods from countries with lower CO₂ standards. This would also protect industry in the EU from unequal competitive conditions and prevent carbon leakage. In addition, the European Commission has mooted the border adjustment levy as a possible additional financing instrument in a publication on the financing of its "Recovery Plan".

    The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) is committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and to greenhouse gas-neutral transport by 2050 at the latest. Achieving the climate protection goals of the "Fit for 55" package will require enormous efforts from industry and society.

    The aim of the Paris Agreement is to achieve these efforts on a global scale – because climate protection policy is a global task that can only be solved jointly by the international community. The VDA therefore fundamentally welcomes elements of climate protection policy that lead to comparable international conditions and a level playing field.

    However, international acceptance of one of these elements by our trading partners is an essential prerequisite. The potential for justified or even unfounded irritation in international trade is high. The reactions of our trading partners could have serious consequences for international value chains and, in addition, counteract the goal of better climate protection. It is against this background that the VDA has drawn up requirements for the design of a possible CO₂ border adjustment mechanism.

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    Angela Mans
    Contact person

    Angela Mans

    Head of the Foreign Trade, Trade and Tariffs Division

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