December 2023 Global Energy Regulation Round Up: How the EU, the US, and China are Tackling Climate Change

Author photo: Gaven Simon
ByGaven Simon
Industry Trends

The EU, the US, and China are Tackling Climate Change


In December 2023, the United Kingdom followed in the footsteps of the European Union by announcing its own “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism” (CBAM) to address carbon leakage and further its industrial decarbonization. Starting in 2027, the liability Global Energy Regulationby the CBAM will depend on the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of the imported good and the gap between the carbon price applied in the country of origin (if any) and the carbon price that would have been applied had the good been produced in the UK. The UK CBAM will place a carbon price on some of the most carbon-intensive products imported into the UK, such as aluminum, cement, ceramics, fertilizer, glass, hydrogen, iron, and steel sectors. The UK CBAM will be applied to Scope 1, Scope 2 emissions, and select product emissions embodied in imported products to ensure comparable coverage with the UK Emissions Trading Scheme1.

United States of America

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its final rule to reduce methane and other pollutants from oil and natural gas operations during COP 28. The rule is expected to avoid an estimated 58 million tons of methane from 2024 to 2038. The EPA recognizes and incentivizes innovation in methane detection technology, such as satellite imagery, aerial surveys, and continuous monitoring to detect leaks. The rule also updates several aspects to provide the industry with the lead time needed to comply. These include a two-year phase-in period for eliminating routine flaring of natural gas from new oil wells and a one-year phase-in of zero-emissions standards for new process controllers and pumps outside of Alaska. The EPA estimates that the rule will yield net climate and ozone health benefits of $97 to $98 billion dollars from 2024 to 2038. Human-caused methane emissions account for about 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions.


In Asia, a cold wave swept across Beijing during the last week of December, setting a record for the longest drop in temperature over a period in recorded history. Starting on December 11th, the temperature did not breach zero degrees Celsius for over 300 hours (12.5 days). This prolonged period of below-freezing temperatures pushed the heating capacity of multiple northern cities in China and partially halted a power plant in the city of Jiaozuo. Other regions cut heating to most government buildings and state-owned enterprises to prioritize limited resources for hospitals, schools, and residential buildings. In addition, northern cities alerted residents to stay indoors, limited heavy industrial production, and halted coal processing, warning of heavy pollution over the coming days.

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