Commission advisors are considering slapping a tax on imported goods from countries which do not impose a CO2 cap on their industry, according to a draft paper seen by European Voice (5-11 October).
The paper will be presented to a top group of industrialists, member-state and civil- society experts who help the Commission shape policies in the field of environment and energy - the high-level group on competitiveness, energy and the environment.
The idea, known in academic circles as a "border tax adjustment", is understood to have emerged from expert discussions on long-term energy scenarios at a September meeting of the competitiveness sub-group.
According to the Voice, cement is cited in the paper as "a good product to trial this approach".
The ETS has attracted criticism from power-intensive industries including cement, metals and heavy chemicals for driving electricity prices up. Industrialists argue that the scheme is putting EU companies at a disadvantage compared with global competitors, who do not have equivalent constraint.
One of the objectives of the high-level group is to find a solution to the increase in power-prices that come with carbon trading in the EU.