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EU Introduces New Rules on Environmental Requirements for Imports – EFA is Concerned These May Discriminate Against African Social Media Merchants.

The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) aims to put a fair price on the carbon emitted during the production of carbon intensive goods that enter the EU, and to encourage cleaner industrial production in non-EU countries. The gradual introduction of the CBAM is aligned with the phase-out of the allocation of free allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to support the decarbonisation of EU industry. EFA is concerned that this rule could be applied to small exporters from Africa.

The EU’s imposition of environmentally friendly requirements needs to be put against the gap in investments for sustainable goods in Africa. Recently UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2023 shows that proactive investment facilitation is key to attracting funding in vital areas such as renewables, health and infrastructure for developing countries. UNCTAD states that developing countries need renewable energy investments of about $1.7tn annually but they attracted only $544bn in 2022. The world urgently needs a surge in financing for sustainable development. Unilaterally imposing environmental rules on imports, such as the EU’s recent regulations, is not going to help the EU’s African trading partners.

See also the article “Back to COP” below.

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Alastair Tempest

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