What the Chief Says: welcoming the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Past event Online

Climate, Energy & Sustainability
Gerassimo Thomas


The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a major development in the EU’s approach to international climate action. The tool will serve as the EU’s primary method to prevent carbon leakage and will introduce a price on carbon emitted during the production of certain goods that are imported into the Union. The CBAM will begin its transitional phase on 1 October 2023 and will then be gradually implemented until a permanent system enters into force on 1 January 2026. 

This 60-minute discussion included a 10-minute introduction by Gerassimos Thomas, European Commission Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), followed by a discussion and Q&A session. 

‘What the Chief Says’ events are informal and off-the-record roundtable debates that offer our members the exclusive opportunity to engage directly with a senior decision-maker from a European institution or government and get to the heart of a specific policy issue. These events are geared to be in tune with the interests of our members and are strategically linked to emerging trends within the EU sphere. Allowing us to identify opportunities and challenges in the European Commission’s agenda, these events discuss the ‘nitty gritty’ of policies affecting Europe in the next years and beyond. 

This event took place on an online platform upon registration. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, and join the #StateofEU discussion! 


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PHOTO CREDIT: European Commission



Participants connect online
Welcoming the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
End of debate


Photo of Luke O’Callaghan-White
Luke O’Callaghan-White

Programme Manager for Climate, Energy & Sustainability at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Luke O’Callaghan-White

Luke O’Callaghan-White is the Programme Manager for Climate, Energy & Sustainability. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Luke served as the senior researcher at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Ireland’s leading international think tank, where he specialised in energy and climate policy. Luke has written widely in this policy space and his publications have been covered in The Irish Times, Irish Examiner and Irish Independent. In 2021, he also served as an ‘expert reviewer’ of the TIMES-Ireland Model, which produced influential energy system pathways for energy supply and demand, in keeping with the Irish Government’s decarbonisation targets. Previously, Luke has also worked a policy analyst at the Canadian Centre for Responsibility to Protect (CCR2P), a Toronto-based research organisation. Luke holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a BA in Political Science and Geography from Trinity College Dublin. Luke is a committee member of the Irish Centre for European Law, where he contributes on matters relating to energy law in the European Union. He is also a member of the IIEA’s climate and energy expert working group. Luke speaks English and Irish.

Gerassimo Thomas
Gerassimos Thomas

European Commission Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD)

Show more information on Gerassimos Thomas

Prior to his current assignment, Gerassimos Thomas served as the Greek deputy minister for environment and energy. He has held various positions at the European Commission, including as deputy director-general for energy, director of finance at the European Commission Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), head of cabinet and spokesperson for the economic and monetary affairs commissioner, and deputy spokesman for the Commission president. He is the former chair of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) Steering Board and previously sat on the board of directors of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.

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