DURHAM, N.C. -- Although markets for trading carbon emission credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have stalled in United States federal policy-making, carbon markets are emerging at the state level within the U.S. and around the world, teaching us more about what does and doesn't work.
In a Policy Forum article in the March 21 edition of Science magazine, Duke University's Richard Newell, William Pizer and Daniel Raimi discuss the key lessons from a decade of experience with carbon markets. They also discuss what it might take for these markets to develop and possibly link together in the coming years and decades.
These carbon markets are a key part of an emerging global policy framework that includes trading programs and other policies such as renewable energy incentives, carbon taxes, and traditional regulation. They have encouraged modest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions so far and expanded to cover a substantial and growing share of global emissions.
The Duke authors note that the emergence of a global system, built from the bottom up, faces a number of challenges including differences in program structure and the concern that business and industry may be driven away from a region or nation where programs are more stringent. While economic arguments tend to favor the linking of markets, other issues such as the challenge of comparing one program to the next, national and regional political concerns, and the financial flows resulting from international carbon trade will create challenges for the bottom-up linking of programs.
"The challenges are indeed real, but each time these markets have faced a challenge, they've learned something important," said Newell, director of the Duke University Energy Initiative and the Gendell Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at the Nicholas School of the Environment.
"With these markets springing up, we have lessons from the past that can be app
|Contact: Margaret Lillard|