Designing border carbon adjustments for enhanced climate action

Michael A. Mehling, Harro van Asselt, Kasturi Das, Susanne Dröge, Cleo Verkuijl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


The Paris Agreement advances a heterogeneous approach to international climate cooperation. Such an approach may be undermined by leakage—the displacement of emissions from states with more to less stringent climate policy constraints. Border carbon adjustments (BCAs) offer a promising response to leakage, but they also raise concerns about their compatibility with international trade law. This Article provides a comprehensive analysis of border carbon adjustments and proposes a way to design them that balances legal, administrative, and environmental considerations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-481
Number of pages48
JournalAmerican Journal of International Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019


  • border carbon adjustments
  • international trade law
  • climate action


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