The EPP Group fully supports the move towards Europe's climate neutrality by 2050, and wants to do it in a way that creates new employment opportunities, rather than destroying jobs. "We say yes to the ‘Fit for 55 proposal’ and at the same time we think it can even be improved. We want to de-carbonise Europe, not de-industrialise it. That is why it is crucial to have proper and effective infrastructure in place, such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) at the EU's external borders, which will ensure a level playing field for European industry and protect jobs", said Peter Liese MEP, the EPP Group's Spokesman on Environment issues.
Liese’s comment comes as Parliament prepares its amendments to the CBAM. The European Commisson proposed the new mechanism in July.
"We cannot allow a European steel company, for instance, to be disadvantaged inside Europe compared to a Russian company able to produce cheaper due to laxer CO2 rules in Russia", explained Adam Jarubas MEP, who is negotiating the planned mechanism on behalf of the EPP Group.
For the EPP Group, it is key that Europe establishes a mechanism that works and is fair towards European companies. "But we must not be naive. We have to be prepared for a scenario in which things do not work properly", warned Jarubas.
Some legal experts have been questioning if the CBAM can be set up in a way that complies with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
"If for some reason we cannot tax carbon of products imported from the outside Europe, we must be able to help European companies who face the competition from such cheap and polluting products. This is why we must carefully observe the situation and prepare a fall-back position to reintroduce free allowances if necessary", he concluded.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States