Environment, Government, Interviews

Global Environmental Carbon PolicyAug 09

ccs

As mounting concern about the ramifications of climate change presses global leaders to look for viable means to reduce carbon emissions, all attention has come to focus on the United States. As one of the largest overall emitters, both in volume and per capita, the decisions made here over the next year will determine the shape and pace of global climate policy over the next decade.  Most have come to agree that linked carbon markets are one of the most feasible ways to price and constrain emissions, though consensus on specific measures will depend heavily on how OECD and industrializing nations are able to reconcile their conflicting perspectives on what is fair, and what is reasonable.  This Sunday evening, our conversation will focus on the primary policy vehicles under consideration, the roadblocks and the possible avenues for collaboration in addressing what may prove to be the most important international issue and diplomatic challenge of the 21st century.

With ever increasing levels of carbon emissions and their threat to global warming, a fiercely deliberated issue has been around what is the best way to structure a global environmental policy. With Clinton’s recent visit to India and China’s hard stance during the G8 talks clearly showing the unwillingness of the developing countries to accept limits set by the developed nations, an interesting and timely topic for GCG members to discuss would be the issue of international environmental policy. In specific, we would like to discuss the following questions:

  • 1) Is it fair for the developed nations to impose carbon emission limits and increase tariffs on goods imported from developing countries and hence hinder their industrial development?
  • 2) What would be an effective & fair policy which would both not hinder industrial development of the emerging nations and at the same time limit carbon emissions?

The following articles will serve as guiding material for our discussion:

1) Poor countries wrangle with rich ones about who can burn what and when? (http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14009113)

2) How to Set Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets for All Countries?

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/19315/how_to_set_greenhouse_gas_emission_targets_for_all_countries.html?breadcrumb=%2Fproject%2F56%2Fharvard_project_on_international_climate_agreements

Our guest speaker, Allison Shapiro, is a carbon markets specialist that has spoken to audiences across the globe on these looming issues.

Allison Shapiro Bio

Allison Shapiro is a Program Associate in the Carbon Markets program of the Ecosystem Marketplace. At Ecosystem Marketplace, she has contributed to the 2008 and 2009 ‘State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets’ reports, writes for the V-Carbon News, and updated the second edition of the book Voluntary Carbon Markets: A Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work. She was also a contributor to an Ecosystem Marketplace study on conservation banking in the United States for the information clearinghouse SpeciesBanking.com. Before joining Ecosystem Marketplace, Allison worked at ICF International, where she provided environmental management support to US federal government and foreign clients. Allison holds a BS degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Environmental Studies from Georgetown University. She speaks English and Spanish.  This coming year she will be attending Michigan Business School.

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