Conceptual illustration of abacus used to calculate cost of environmental damage on Earth. With shallow DOF using Earth map from NASA

Wooden abacus with green globes. Photo: BeholdingEye / E+ / Getty Images .


The network, led by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and funded by the European Climate Foundation, consists of European research organizations, including SEI. It conducts evidence-based research and outreach activities on the topic of trade and the environmentThe focus of the GTN is on the European trade strategy and key environmental trade policy measures such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). 

Sweden and CBAM

The GTN has engaged in the ongoing debate on CBAM within Sweden, shedding light on the deliberations of key stakeholders within an EU member state.  

A discussion brief published on 9 February 2022 and a policy dialogue workshop held on 14 February 2022 analysed four CBAM design elements that are critical considerations for the policy positions Sweden takes to the Council of the EU on the CBAM proposal. The workshop gathered Swedish ministries, agencies, industry representatives and experts in an online format. The discussion brief has also been reported in Swedish media.

The discussion brief and outcomes from the policy dialogue were disseminated within the GTN to generate knowledge and insights about the factors affecting one member state’s position. 

EU trade policies and East Africa

The SEI team is analysing the effect of EU trade policies and support on trading partners in Eastern Africa and their manufacturing industries.  

Significant risks to international cooperation in both trade and climate change areas are likely to arise if CBAM – a flagship policy measure of the EU – is rolled out without due consideration of EU trading partners’ perspectives and positions. At the same time, this world-first policy is an opportunity to generate international momentum that could facilitate a green level playing field that leads to trade policy becoming a climate good. 

SEI is researching implementation impacts in Eastern Africa associated with the EU trade strategy and forthcoming legislative and investment support proposals.  

A sustainable trade index has been used to examine the extent to which the objectives of trade, climate and development policies within the East African Community and the EU can be aligned.  

CBAM and the industry transition

The SEI team has taken a deeper dive into the perspectives of industry sectors affected by CBAM and undergoing industry transition, drawing on the network of members of the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT ).  

brief  on the risks of carbon leakage was produced in collaboration between the Green Trade Network and Lead IT.