Priorities for Climate & Energy
The First Teleconference on Climate & Energy
The first T-PAGE teleconference on Climate and Energy was held on 24 April 2007. At this meeting representatives of environmentally minded civil society organisations debated the state of climate and energy policy in Europe and the US. Drawn primarily from the environmental NGO and academic community they were selected because of their high profile expertise in this area and included representatives from WWF, Greenpeace, the European and US Climate Action Networks, Environmental Defence, Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and Maryland University.
All participants felt that discussions taking place under T-PAGE should remain policy relevant. It was commented that the project should add value to the ongoing debates in Europe, the US and internationally.
Participants concluded that:
The EU and US are essential in moving the global debate on climate change forward and at present our governments are not reinforcing each other's efforts. Civil society has an important role in bringing about a more effective approach and greater mutual understanding in the field of climate and energy.
At the first teleconference three priority topics were identified for further discussion and research during the project. These were:
These three areas of climate and energy policy are of equal importance in both Europe and the US and represent particular challenges to the environmental community in terms of how to approach them. Thus there is the need for open, honest discussion regarding experiences, successes, failures and concerns on both sides of the Atlantic. A transatlantic dialogue on these issues will highlight similarities and differences in relation to opinion and approach in Europe and the US, and it is hoped that this will help to address some of the key questions and problems facing domestic action.
The second teleconference on Climate and Energy
The second T-PAGE teleconference on Climate and Energy was held on 13 November 2007 and focussed on the three topics identified for further discussion. This meeting brought together a core group of EU and US environmental experts to discuss developments in Europe and the US, domestic challenges being faced and areas for future collaboration.
In preparation for this meeting, IEEP and NRDC produced a series of research papers comparing EU and US approaches to each issue. A paper on cap and trade systems in the EU reviews the EU ETS and some of the options being considered for its future phases. A paper on the development of cap and trade policy in the US examines some of the bottom up and voluntary initiatives currently being undertaken. A paper on biofuels summarises European and US policy approaches and some of the challenges being faced, including how to ensure sustainability, indirect impacts of land-use change and adopting second generation biofuels. A paper on carbon capture and storage examines the role of coal in the EU and US energy supply, current obstacles to deployment, policy approaches and incentives provided on both sides of the Atlantic and some of the concerns surrounding the technology.
Discussions at the second teleconference focussed on key issues identified in each of these papers.
On cap and trade, participants discussed the issue of linking different trading systems, the differing approaches in the EU and US regarding emissions from transport, alternative policy measures, differences in the base years being used by either side and what this means for international negotiations.
On biofuels, participants discussed approaches to measuring sustainability, the indirect impacts of biofuels and how they can potentially be measured and some of the broader contextual issues that need to be taken into account.
On carbon capture and storage, participants expressed their views in support or against the technology and discussed some of the issues regarding financing and deployment.