Current national and regional climate policies focus primarily on production-based approaches. However, carbon emissions embodied in internationally traded goods and services are growing. Consumption-based Accounting and Policy (CAP) measures can address carbon embdedded in international trade while also addressing consumption as a driver of increasing GHG emissions. Consumption-based approaches can therefore complement existing production-focused mitigation efforts.

It is against this backdrop that the Carbon-Cap Project was launched.* The 39-month project aims to stimulate an effective climate policy mix - in the EU and internationally - that can address increasing consumption-related emissions in addition to the current focus on production emissions. It combines work on accounting models with cutting-edge policy research. 

The project's first expert workshop was held in Berlin on 21 March 2014 with the aim of analyzing experiences with consumption and trade oriented policies to date. In order to focus the discussion on the aspects that ultimately matter for policy implementation, we structured the discussion around three case studies that were presented in the workshop and discussed by stakeholders: EU manufacturing supply chain policies as a potential driver for global emissions abatement, implementing a consumption charge on cement, and experiences with standards and labelling of agricultural commodities.

* The Carbon-Cap project receives funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 603386. To find out more, please visit www.carboncap.eu

 

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Berlin, Germany
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Friday, 21 March 2014 - 12:00am

Shifting to a cleaner energy mix is essential to keep the average global temperature rise below 2-degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels as highlighted by the latest IPCC report. In order to achieve this, costs of renewable energy have to come down and markets need to be strengthened so as to allow for a scale-up of innovation, production, and deployment of sustainable energy technologies. Trade policy has an important role to play in this respect.

The past few years have seen significant political momentum toward bringing down trade barriers in some of the relevant clean energy goods. Examples include the APEC initiative to reduce tariffs on a list of environmental goods, US President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and the launch of trade negotiations on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) in July this year by 14 like-minded WTO members.

The launch of EGA negotiations offers a timely opportunity for trade to effectively contribute to climate action if delegations involved identify, include, and prioritise climate-friendly goods as a first deliverable. The initiative has the potential to offer a much-needed impetus in the climate negotiations and lay the groundwork for a positive, collaborative and constructive spirit in the lead up to COP 21 in Paris in December 2015.

Against this background, ICTSD and The Guarini Center of NYU Law convened a dialogue during Climate Week NYC and on the sidelines of the Secretary-General's Climate Summit. The purpose of the event was to explore the potential of the EGA negotiations to foster trade as a tool for enhancing climate action and to discuss how this could help support climate negotiations towards Lima and Paris. 

The fostered a forward-looking, action-oriented discussion between government representatives, business leaders and key experts. 

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New York , USA
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The road ahead for the environmental goods agreement talks"Green Goods" Trade Talks Kick Off in Geneva Green Goods Initiative: A stepping stone towards effective climate change actionGreen goods on the moveA conversation on green goods trade with Ronald Steenblik and Grant Ferrier“Green goods” trade initiative kicks off in DavosTransforming the APEC Outcome on Environmental Goods into a Broader Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative: What are the Options?List of Environmental Goods: An Overview
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182638
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programme 1
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The event will be convened in partnership with The Guarini Center on Environment, Energy and Land Use Law at NYU School of Law....

Practical info: 

Date: 24 September 2014

Time: 12:30 - 15:30

Date period: 
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 - 12:00am

For many companies and nations, standardisation can provide competitive advantages, open up export and increase access to the global marketplace. This has led many emerging economies to draw an important lesson; namely to engage in international standardisation as a key strategy in increasing their share of trade. Developed economies have skilfully used standardisation as a tool to create new trade opportunities. However, countries in the developing world often find themselves at a disadvantage when faced with international standards that are not adjusted to their conditions. Standardisation can also cause several obstacles such as the lack of participation of many views and stakeholders in the setting of international standards, and the lack of capacity in implementing international standards. 

While the former can lead to international standards not being adapted to the conditions of a certain economy and can make the standards less effective; the latter leads to increased costs and difficulties in applying the standards needed to increase exports. The two are, obviously, intertwined and both result in a lack of trade opportunities.

As time goes on, new areas evolve and become new issues for standardisation. Climate change, corporate social responsibility, crisis management and energy efficiency are all recent examples of areas that require engagement from a wide variety of stakeholders – including those from developing countries. In fact, production-related standards can be an efficient means of spurring climate change mitigation. While this is promising from a climate perspective, and may be less controversial than proposed tools such as border carbon measures, it does create considerable concerns in many developing countries who experience difficulties in complying with a growing body of national standards. How could emerging international standards on for example emissions reporting respond to these concerns, and facilitate trade in low carbon goods? How do such standards impact a developing country's opportunities to trade on the global market? How can the international community work together to ensure that in particular climate-relate standards create export opportunities for developing countries, as many of these countries have a comparative advantage in low-carbon production, rather than constitute obstacles? And how are they linked to positive and negative trade policy opportunities? 

The objective of the SIS-ICTSD workshop was to discuss and raise awareness among the audience about the challenges, opportunities and risks for developing countries to actively involve in standardization work, to adopt and use international standards and how this could positively or negatively impact trade on a global marketplace. In particular, the session aimed to explore how international standards can enhance export opportunities and promote a green economy, rather than create trade obstacles. It also seeked to explore the way in which climate-related standards are evolving, how they might be used in the future, and what scope there is within the WTO to help exploit the positive opportunities and avoid potential negative impacts.

Speakers:

Joakim Reiter, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent Mission of Sweden, Geneva

Jane Ngige, Kenya Flower Council (focus international climate standards and the flower sector of Kenya)

Stephen Isiko, Flona Commodities (Uganda, focus small-scale business implementing a carbon footprint of products standard on pineapples)

Indu Joshi, Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (focus tea company in Nepal implementing carbon footprint of products standard)

Aaron Cosbey, IISD (focus trade policy opportunities)

Moderator:

Ingrid Jegou, ICTSD

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Geneva, Switzerland
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Tuesday, 1 October 2013 - 12:00am