On May 2nd Climate Advisers and the Climate Leadership Council co-hosted an event to discuss trade measures, climate policy, and the G7. International trade is connected to one-quarter of global climate emissions, and it is an increasingly important policy issue for G7 members. You can watch the recording here and learn more about the discussions held during this event below.
U.S. Efforts on Carbon-Border Fees
The event began with Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis reviewing the current state of the trade and climate policy nexus and interviewing U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) about the legislation he is drafting to address pollution and trade. Senator Cassidy is one of several U.S. Senators working on legislation that would impose a fee on imported goods that have higher levels of embedded carbon pollution than domestically produced goods.
European Union Efforts to Align Trade and Climate Goals
At the end of the event, the European Commission’s Director General of Climate Action Kurt Vandenberghe spoke with Climate Advisers’ Vice President of Programs Claire Langley about pressing international trade issues with significant climate impact. The issues included how the EU might react to a U.S. carbon border pollution fee; how it might align with the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM); the EU’s reaction to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and industrial policies with subsidies that are driving potential trade tensions; ongoing efforts to support multilateralism to solve trade and climate conflicts; and the role the G7 will play in solving these issues.
Consortium for Climate-Aligned Trade Expert Insights
In between the event’s two main speakers, an expert panel discussed a host of issues connected to climate-aligned trade, including: why cooperation is necessary among G7 members; the importance of recognizing carbon intensity as an important factor in addressing carbon leakage; the potential – and shortcomings – of the Inflation Reduction Act; the implementation of the EU CBAM; the possibility that the UK will adopt its own carbon border measures; other venues besides the G7 that are vital to making progress on climate-aligned trade; and more. The panel included Johanna Lehne, Programme Lead for Industry Transition & Trade Programme, E3G; Matt Porterfield, Vice President of Policy and Research, Climate Leadership Council; Joseph Dellatte, Research Fellow, Institut Montaigne; Ray Kopp, Senior Fellow and Director, Resources for the Future; and was moderated by Matt Piotrowski, Senior Director of Policy and Research, Climate Advisers.
The panel experts contributed to developing CCAT’s recommendations to the G7, which were released in early April, and identified seven actions that the group could take to increase collaboration and accelerate global decarbonization. In their official statement in Sapporo, Japan, released April 16, 2023, G7 Climate, Energy, and Environment Ministers included five of CCAT’s recommendations, finding important common ground on trade and climate. With internationally traded goods associated with about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, CCAT will continue to engage the G7 and other fora on committing to crafting trade policies that will help reduce emissions and sustain economic growth.