Based on analysis of legal and economic literatures, as well as existing case studies and proposals, the authors of this report propose a number of steps that would allow the harnessing of climate benefits, and limit technical complexities and legal risks of BCAs, which seek to alleviate the negative impacts by including imports in – or exempting exports from – a carbon constraint.

Design Steps and Related Process

The authors contribute to newly invigorated BCA debate by proposing a design that strikes a balance between legal durability, ease of implementation, and environmental performance. The report traces the changed context of climate action; explores the definition, conceptual boundaries, and rationale of BCAs; analyses the context and substance of past proposals; evaluates legal and economic considerations for their design; and sets out practical guidance on BCA design and implementation.

While not arguing for or against the introduction of BCAs, the authors aim to inform an open and sincere debate in the communities exploring the potential of this instrument by offering actionable steps to do so through an iterative and transparent process.

Download the full report.