The Paris Agreement officially entered into force on 4 November  2016 and aims to pursue "efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels."

The IPCC is responding to this temperature goal by starting work on a Special report on "Global warming of 1.5°C", to be finished by 2018.

But what policy implications does the 1.5°C target have globally and for the EU’s roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy in 2050? This roundtable will focus on two aspects of the IPCC Special report: mitigation pathways compatible with 1.5°C and the strengthening and implementation of the global response to climate change.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 - 2:55pm

The EU’s winter package contains a Commission proposal on governance of the Energy Union for the 2020-2030 period and beyond.

Governance of the Energy Union is a critical aspect of the future outlook on how environmental sustainability can be reached without losing track of social and economic sustainability. Therefore, the winter package is crucial to ensure a coherent and comprehensive approach towards the EU’s longer-term climate and energy targets.

During this meeting, participants will discuss this proposal and wider governance issues in this field within the EU. We will also discuss the findings of a new CERRE (Centre on Regulation in Europe) report on the governance of climate change.

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Date: 7 December 2016

Time: 09:30-13:00

 ...

Date period: 
Wednesday, 7 December 2016 - 10:15am
5 December 2016

Just weeks ago there was no international agreement on limiting emissions from the aviation sector.

The Kyoto Protocol states that developed countries should pursue reductions of emissions from the international aviation and maritime sectors through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) respectively, but until now there have been no binding targets for these sectors.

Emissions from flights within, to and from the EU were included in the EU ETS in Phase 3. After substantial international discussions, the EU decided to “stop the clock” on applying the provision to international flights coming to and leaving the EU in order to give ICAO time to develop a global scheme to tackle GHG emissions from the aviation sector.

At ICAO’s 2013 General Assembly, countries set a “global aspirational goal” of ensuring “carbon neutral growth” for the aviation sector after 2020. In order to achieve this goal, work has progressed within ICAO on a global market-based mechanism.

This October, an international agreement for the aviation sector was agreed in Montreal, Canada. The agreement seeks to ensure that the aviation sector becomes carbon neutral after 2020 and halves net emissions by 2050 compared to 2005. Aviation accounts for two percent of global GHG emissions, but this is expected to double by 2030 without policy intervention.

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Countries Agree International Aviation Emissions Pact
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Date: 24 November 2016

Time: 15:00-17:30

Date period: 
Monday, 24 October 2016 - 5:42pm

Climate change poses tremendous risks to the viability of life on Earth as we know it as well as to the prospects for a prosperous future.

In this regard, international trade and investment frameworks that encourage and support the transition to a low-carbon economy are key. Indeed, open international markets are crucial for fostering access to mitigation and adaptation technologies, making them available at a competitive cost and large scale, as well as for enhancing access to products with relatively lower levels of embedded carbon.

At the same time, under the Paris Agreement’s decentralised nature, each country sets its own targets and chooses the measures to achieve them. Positive and negative spillover effects between interconnected economies are likely to occur. Competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns are expected to intensify, which may constrain the ambition of countries’ climate policies and prompt the introduction of controversial trade-related measures.

On the other hand, cooperation on climate measures can lead to a degree of alignment between national measures and help to reduce trade-related concerns. The global trade system can provide support for such cooperation.

In the context of the current uncertainty in the area of multilateral governance, ensuring equitable and inclusive growth worldwide requires guidance from the highest level and coordination on macro-economic policies. Moving in this direction will require firm leadership and participation of key players, and I strongly believe that the G20 has the potential to exercise leadership on this vital matter.

Against this background, ICTSD will host a working dinner on the G20’s competitive advantage on the linkages between global trade, climate change and energy policy. After brief introductions by ICTSD’s Senior Fellow Thomas L. Brewer, we will open up for an interactive and informal discussion.

To request an invitation to the dinner, please contact Ingrid Jegou at ijegou@ictsd.ch

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Berlin, Germany
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Global Rules for Mutually Supportive and Reinforcing Trade and Climate Regimes
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Thursday, 1 December 2016 - 4:52pm

 

The Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to well below 2 ̊C compared to pre-industrial levels will require a massive scale-up of clean energy supply and a more efficient use of energy.

Streamlined and well-functioning global value chains will be key to unleash the trillions of dollars of investment needed to this end, while also allowing countries to contribute according to their comparative advantages. This will enable a more efficient production and provision of equipment, services and technologies, lowering their costs and ultimately reducing clean energy prices.

While trade policy can play a key role in this regard, a wide range of obstacles stand in the way of value chain optimisation. These include border measures such as import duties, as well as a range of behind the border measures like standards, conformity assessment procedures, local content requirements, procurement practices, and restrictions on trade in services.

The Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) being negotiated by a group of WTO members seeks to eliminate tariffs on a broad range of environmental goods, including in the area of clean energy and energy efficiency. At the last G7 summit, the group called for an “ambitious” and “future-oriented” EGA, which could provide room for addressing services and non-tariff measures in a second phase. While negotiations are on hold for the moment, there is nevertheless scope to discuss and strengthen the clean energy-component of the agreement. Regional and bilateral trade agreements could also play an important role in driving the diffusion and deployment of clean energy.

This dialogue, co-organised by ICTSD and the World Eneregy Council, will showcase findings from recent research on global value chains and non-tariff measures, and discuss options for trade policy to help scale up clean energy supply. It is intended to create a better understanding of how market access and domestic supply capacity interact with trade policy in order to inform future trade policy making that is conducive to a clean energy scale-up. 

For security reasons, registration is mandatory. Registration will close on Thursday, 2 February at 17:00.

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Geneva, Switzerland
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Ministerial Talks to Clinch Environmental Goods Agreement Hit Stumbling BlockReducing Import Tariffs for Environmental Goods: The APEC ExperienceRecent Developments in Trade and Tariffs in Renewable Energy Goods in Latin America and the CaribbeanMutual Recognition Agreement on Conformity Assessment: A Deliverable on Non-Tariff Measures for the EGA?
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Date: 9 February 2017

Time: 11:00-18:00

For security reasons, registration is mandatory. Registration will close on Thursday, 2 February at 17:00.

Date period: 
Thursday, 9 February 2017 - 11:06am

COP 22 had the potential to significantly push the processes surrounding the Paris Agreement to a higher gear and create more clarity on what can be expected on the international level in the coming years.

During this session, participants will review the main outcomes of the Marrakech COP, and especially how they relate to ongoing EU policy processes and the impact of the US election on international cooperation.

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Carbon Market Clubs under the Paris Climate Regime: Climate and Trade Policy ConsiderationsInternational Cooperation Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: Reflections before SB 44
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Date: 24 November 2016

Time: 16:00-18:00

Date period: 
Thursday, 24 November 2016 - 9:21am

Climate change poses tremendous risks for growth and development and therefore requires ambitious and immediate action. 

The Paris Agreement represents an unprecedented commitment to tackle the climate challenge: Its signatories aim to peak emissions as soon as possible and to decarbonise the global economy in the second half of the century.

However, its success will require supportive policies across many areas. Trade frameworks that support the transition to a low-carbon economy will be key. Policies to achieve this range from trade liberalisation for climate-friendly goods and services to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies or providing space for climate-friendly subsidies.

At the same time, the decentralised nature of the new climate agreement built on NDCs will likely generate increasing spillover effects on trade and in some cases test the limits of trade rules, which in turn may undermine climate goals. Recent political developments further add uncertainty about the levels of mitigation action that can be expected.

This dialogue will explore key interactions between trade and the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the post-Marrakesh context to drive more coherent policy-making where the potential for trade to positively contribute to the climate action effort is realised, while ensuring that climate measures do not unnecessarily distort trade but rather promote an open economic system that contributes to sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.

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Global Rules for Mutually Supportive and Reinforcing Trade and Climate RegimesCarbon Market Clubs under the Paris Climate Regime: Climate and Trade Policy Considerations
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Date: 6 December 2016

Time: 14:00-16:00

Date period: 
Tuesday, 6 December 2016 - 11:45am

Fossil fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption aggravate local pollution, disadvantage clean energy technologies, and drain scarce public resources that could be better directed to other sustainable development goals. At over USD 500 billion annually, fossil fuel subsidies are globally significant.

Fossil fuel subsidies are a poor social welfare policy. They are regressive, costly and inefficient for reducing poverty.

In addition to the detrimental impact on climate change and the economy, they have a negative impact on international trade and can distort international trade flows.

Removing fossil fuel subsidies leads to emissions reductions and removes distortions which affect international trade. It also frees up resources to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The trade regime is uniquely placed to consider how to address fossil fuel subsidies. International trade law is the only forum in which global rules are already in place to effectively discipline subsidies. Given this and the implications of fossil fuel subsidies on international trade and investment flows, there is a case for the WTO to more closely examine these harmful measures.

Panellists:

-Arancha González, ITC

-Mark Halle, IISD

-Ingrid Jegou, ICTSD

-Ronald Steenblik, OECD

-David Shark, WTO

-Guillermo Valles, UNCTAD

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Monday, 21 November 2016 - 4:03pm