Submission on Carbon Leakage

Climate action


Loss of competitiveness and so called “carbon leakage” have often been used as arguments to avoid stronger and more adequate climate action by the European Union, such as the implementation of a 30% reduction target by 2020. However, convincing scientific evidence offering clear proof of carbon leakage, related to the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), is still missing. 

Climate Action Network Europe has frequently pointed out that the “carbon leakage” provisions in the reviewed EU ETS directive do not reflect adequate and peer reviewed science. They were, in fact, the result of an intensely political process. 

Now, new economic research points out that the criteria for the assessment of carbon leakage and in particular their application in the 2009 comitology decision “identifying a list of sectors deemed exposed to significant risk of carbon leakage” are deeply flawed. This strengthens the fact that the scientific case for carbon leakage because of the EU ETS, at this time, is weak if not non-existent. 

The time has come to take the carbon leakage issue out of politics and the hands of a few, but very powerful, special interest groups. 

CAN-Europe therefore, asks the European Commission to use the latest economic research and empirical data and use them for a new and independent “carbon leakage” assessment. If major deficiencies in the assessment are confirmed, a new carbon leakage decision and/or a specific amendment of the EU ETS directive will be required.

Download CAN-Europe submission to public consultation on carbon leakage (12.04.2010)