Effective Market Mechanisms to Curb Carbon Emissions     Print
Wednesday, 04 November 2009


During this seminar, experts from both sides of the Atlantic discussed and debated key ideas and mechanisms for reducing global carbon emissions and containing costs. Panelists addressed the debate between the cap and trade system and carbon tax as well as internationalizing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The speakers noted that effective market measures are critical to making real progress and that the continuing debate between cap and trade and carbon tax measures is crucial for driving innovation and investment.

The meeting consisted of two panel discussions which were followed by engaging question and answer sessions. The first panel addressed ‘Exploring Transatlantic Policy Options for Curbing Carbon Emissions,’ and brought together political and corporate representatives to discuss what is being done to address pressing climate issues. Peter Zapfel, Assistant to the Deputy Director General, DG Environment at the European Commission, Anne Lammila, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Finland and Sylvain Garnaud, President of Cement Divisions at Lafarge North America, Inc. spoke about the development of the European carbon market and efforts in the United States to reduce carbon emissions. While there was agreement that the U.S. and the EU do not agree on every proposal, there was also a consensus that this is a period of great opportunity for collaboration. The second panel focused on ‘The Carbon Market in Practice’ and brought together experts on cap and trade initiatives and carbon tax to debate the merits of each mechanism. Dr. William Ferretti, Vice President of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Kevin James, Vice President, Carbon Finance at Climate Change Capital and James Handley from the Carbon Tax Center provided a discussion of market initiatives for reducing carbon emissions. Though they disagreed about which mechanisms were most effective, there was convergence on the idea that the most important step the United States can take is to set a price on carbon in order to encourage carbon reduction initiatives. Mark Hopkins, Director of International Energy Efficiency at the United Nations Foundation moderated this meeting.