This policy brief is an initial assessment of the European Green Deal, examining what is currently known about the risks it creates for South African exporters. It provides a summary of what regulatory changes are expected in the EGD, what risks these changes pose for South African firms, and what can be done to begin preparing for these changes.
The brief was funded by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. It draws on a report by TIPS, Tralac and Trade Advisory on The European Green Deal: Context, challenges and opportunities for South African SMEs operating in the green economy, funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The European Green Deal (EGD) is a is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. These policy initiatives aim to make all sectors of the European Union’s economy fit to contribute to the European Union reaching its climate targets by 2030 in a fair, cost-effective and competitive way. The EGD proposes several action plans and initiatives in priority areas, which include energy, land, biodiversity, clean air, sustainable foods and buildings, among others. South African exporters to the European Union will need to adapt to this change, to assure their long-term competitiveness in a changing market. This study provides an initial look at the EGD and its potential implications for South African trade with the European Union. The particular proposed headline initiative of the EGD in the form of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism is unpacked more specifically in this study, while an analysis of potential opportunities to expand trade associated with “environmental goods” products are also highlighted.