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 What is CBAM?

  • The EU contended, while providing context for the CBAM, that it intends to achieve the target of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

  • Compared to 1990 levels, under the European Green Deal. 

  • The CBAM is part of the package planned to achieve this

  • Second, there is a threat to EU products being replaced by carbon-intensive imports from other countries such as India or China. 

  • The EU argues that the higher standard of environmental compliance in its domestic industries will reduce their competitiveness. 

  • It intends to impose an import duty on carbon-intensive industries from non-EU countries to meet both these objectives.

  • The CBAM is intended to work like the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS), which sets a cap on the amount of GHG emissions permitted.

  • Under the EU-ETS, companies covered by the scheme have to ‘buy’ allowances corresponding to their GHG emissions. 

  • Financial incentives are provided to them to cut emissions

  • But energy-intensive industries receive free allowances to ensure their competitiveness

  • This is also a way of preventing carbon leakage, wherein carbon-intensive production by EU-based producers could move to non-EU countries with lax environmental regulations. 

  • The CBAM has been pitched to replace this allocation of EU-ETS allowances.

  • The CBAM’s transitional phase will last until December 2025

  • In this stage, all EU manufacturers and importers of energy-intensive industries will need to report the GHG emissions embedded in their imports without any financial obligations

  • From January 1, 2026, the CBAM will enter the definitive phase wherein, upon declaration of the

emissions embedded in imports, the importers will be required to surrender annually the corresponding number of CBAM certificates.

  • The CBAM will be applied to the actual declared carbon content embedded in the goods imported to the EU. 

  • The formulae devised to calculate this content will be based on the EU-ETS mechanism, barring for the first year. 

  • In the first reporting year, to allow some flexibility, use of default values for the embedded emission or using the monitoring, reporting, or verification rules of the country of production is permitted

  • There is a fundamental difference between how the actual carbon content embedded is calculated and valued in other jurisdictions.

  • India has just started working on its own carbon trading mechanism. 

  • In December 2022, it amended the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, to introduce the Carbon Credit Trading System (CCTS). 

  • This is proposed to combat climate change by incentivising actions for emission reductions leading to increased investments in clean energy by the private sector. 

  • The Ministry of Power is still working on the specifics to operationalise the CCTS, including carbon valuation.

  • In India, the obligatory CCTS model is also coupled with the voluntary market-based mechanism called the Green Credit Programme Rules, notified by the Ministry of Environment in 2023. 

  • The scheme is aimed to encourage more environmentally proactive actions going beyond the carbon reduction mandate.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: CBAM UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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