WASHINGTON, DC—Resources for the Future (RFF) today released a new installment of Resources Radio: “A Status Report on Global Emissions Trading, with Stephanie La Hoz Theuer.”
In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Stephanie La Hoz Theuer, a senior project manager at adelphi, an environmental think tank, as well as a member of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) Secretariat. La Hoz Theuer outlines key findings from ICAP’s recent status report, which assesses how emissions trading systems across the world have progressed in the last year—from America’s long-running Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to China’s early-stage, but potentially groundbreaking, emissions program. Reflecting on continued policy challenges that complicate carbon pricing systems, La Hoz Theuer points to the potentially disruptive influence of “complementary policies,” along with administrative hurdles inherent to regulation of the sprawling agricultural sector.
Notable quotes from the podcast:
- Subnational programs gain traction in North America: “At the subnational level in North America, there's also the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and this is a system of 10 US states that covers emissions from the electricity sector, specifically … There is also an effort in the US to build a regional market for transportation emissions, called the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which could potentially include a number of the same states as RGGI. And in the meantime, there's lots of other subnational governments pushing for ETSs in North America. Nova Scotia launched a system in 2019, and we have US states like Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington that are also in the works.” (10:54)
- Merits and drawbacks of pursuing solely carbon pricing policy: “Achieving emission reductions through regulatory measures is often more expensive than through carbon pricing. Now the thing is that the objective is to drive deep decarbonization, and that's very difficult to do with carbon pricing alone … There are both political and economic reasons to pursue a mix of policies for net zero emissions, instead of just carbon pricing alone.” (18:34)
- The quandary of reducing agricultural emissions: “Agriculture is indeed a challenging sector from a carbon pricing standpoint … This is partly because we're not talking about a few large companies with high emissions, but often about tens of thousands of small farms and land owners, each of them with small emissions that, in the aggregate, come to a very large sum. Now, carbon pricing can provide incentives for mitigation in those farms and can provide for flexibility in achieving targets, but it can be administratively really complex.” (23:26)
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