False: The European Union has introduced a personal carbon credit system.

By: Rahul Adhikari
January 4 2023

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False: The European Union has introduced a personal carbon credit system.


The Verdict False

The EU is introducing a carbon border tax system, applicable to businesses. This does not mean that individuals will have to pay for their emissions.

Claim ID 6e2b09ea


A number of posts on Facebook claims that the European Union (EU) has introduced a personal carbon credit system. The caption of one such post read, "BREAKING: EU: The European Union just introduced the first step of a personal carbon credit system. Every citizen will have to start paying for their carbon emissions to cut emissions by 55 percent by 2030." These claims originated with the Dutch rightwing commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek, who has promoted a number of conspiracy theories regarding COVID and agriculture in TV appearances.

In Fact

In December 2022, the EU agreed to introduce the world's first carbon border tax. This new measure will require importers of certain goods to pay a pollution price to ensure equal footing with domestic producers. Carbon-intensive industries in the EU have to comply with strict emissions standards; this tax is intended to ensure that domestic goods take priority over goods from other countries with weaker rules. The Financial Times reported that the lawmakers agreed on the decision despite concerns that it could breach World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and cause trade disputes. 

According to a report from CNN dated December 13, 2020, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will initially be applied to imports like iron, steel, cement, aluminum, fertilizers, electricity, and hydrogen. Importers of these goods will have to buy permits to cover emissions generated by the same at a rate linked to the EU's carbon price. However, neither report mentioned that the EU had decreed that individuals would have to pay for their personal emissions. 

A press release from the European Parliament says that the deal with EU governments to implement the CBAM was reached in December 2022 to begin in 2026 and be fully implemented by 2034. The plan, intended to prevent carbon leakage, will be phased in as the free allowances for emissions provided to the same industries are phased out. 

This press release did not mention anything about a personal carbon credit system. We found no reports to suggest that citizens of the EU will have to begin paying for their individual emissions.

A personal carbon credit system is a method where individuals pay directly for their emissions by buying credits. These credits allow the owner to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

Speaking to Logically over email, European Parliament Press Officer Dana Popp said, "There has been no decision to set up a 'personal carbon credit system,' despite recent claims found online."

The Verdict

The European Union agreed to introduce a carbon border tax system, which only applies to industries and importers of goods. Citizens of the EU will not have to pay for their own emissions. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.


This fact check has been updated to reflect the statement given to Logically by EU Parliament Press Officer Dana Popp.

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