Building Bridges: Border carbon adjustment and the multilateral trading system

September 28, 2021 3:05 pm CET

(Open to public)

This session was organized by IISD and brought together leading policy experts to look at border carbon adjustments (BCAs), otherwise known as carbon border adjustment mechanisms (CBAMs). This climate policy tool, which has a profound impact on international trade, has increasingly drawn public attention in recent months. This session sought to look beyond the headlines to examine the possibility of building common ground and best practices in the design and implementation of BCAs. Panellists considered what elements are good candidates for common ground, asked where discussions might take place, and considered what prospects there are for this common ground to act as a bridge between the objectives and principles of climate change action and the multilateral trading system, with particular attention to the principles of special and differential treatment and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.


  • Aaron Cosbey, Senior Associate, IISD
  • Susanne Dröge, Senior Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
  • Arunabha Ghosh, Founder/CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water
  • Professor Xiankun Lu, Founder and Managing Director, LEDECO Centre Swiss


  • Alice Tipping, Lead, Sustainable Trade and Fisheries Subsidies, IISD

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