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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: More support for carbon pricing needed to ensure place for carbon markets in Paris 2015, says IETA CEO, ahead of Climate Week NYC

September 14, 2014 by Rahul Rana

Dirk photo smallStarting on Monday, 22 September, world leaders, businesses and environmentalist will convene in New York to take part in a multitude of events targeted to combat the threat of climate change, including the paramount event of the week, the United Nations Climate Summit. The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) will be hosting a string of high-level activities focused at emissions trading and carbon pricing, throughout the occassion. Dirk Forrister, CEO of IETA, shared his views and expectations with CaliforniaCarbon.info regarding the Climate Week and the lead-up to Paris 2015.

CaliforniaCarbon.info: IETA has been a premier IETA has been the premier organizer of carbon market trade fairs and conferences around the world. What are the events IETA is planning to organize during the Climate Week 2014?

Dirk Forrister: IETA has several activities planned, so I’ll just highlight two! On 22 September, we’re organizing a Carbon Pricing and the 2015 Agreement Symposium with the Harvard Kennedy School, featuring high-level officials and executives who support carbon pricing.

On the day of the summit itself, the 23 September, we’re hosting our annual Carbon Forum North America event. This one-day event will focus on the latest regulatory and market developments in Canada, the US and Mexico, including the US EPA’s proposals to curb power plant emissions.

We also have events planned on climate finance, REDD and, of course, more on carbon markets and carbon pricing – the details are all available on our website, www.ieta.org.

CC.info: The Climate Week will be host to a multitude of events and dialogues between businesses and head of states. What will be a good outcome of the UN Summit during the Climate Week 2014?

D.F.: We would like to see more political support for putting a price on carbon emerge from the UN Summit. More and more governments are turning to carbon markets as a means of fighting climate change, which is great, but we need more. If more leaders get behind carbon pricing at the summit, that could really build momentum for ensuring a place for markets in the Paris agreement.

CC.info: In December, the head of states will convene once again in Peru to discuss the issues surrounding climate change. What could be the impact of the UN Summit during the Climate Week 2014 on the Peru COP negotiations?

D.F.: The aim of the summit is to build political momentum for the Paris deal – but COP20 in Peru is so important as well. By the end of the two weeks in December, negotiators need to have a skeleton text to finalise in 2015; no one wants a repeat of Copenhagen, so the more issues that can be resolved in advance of Paris, the better. The summit gives politicians an unprecedented opportunity to hear from businesses and NGOs active in this space about what is important for the 2015 deal, so that governments can take that information with them to Lima and lay the foundations for success in Paris.

CC.info: What could regional markets like California and RGGI in USA expect from  Carbon Forum North America (CFNA) 2014?

D.F.: Carbon Forum North America is always a good opportunity for the carbon community across the continent to get together and exchange ideas. This year in particular there is a lot to talk about, what with Mexico considering introducing an ETS, actions by the provinces in Canada, and the moves by the US EPA to cut emissions from power plants, which could pave the way for wider participation in programs such as RGGI and California. It’s a good chance to hear where people’s thinking is at with regards to issues such as linkage and market expansion, especially as we approach the first joint auction of emissions allowances by California and Québec’s regulators.

CC.info: Which governments have confirmed participation in the ICAP-IETA’s High-Level Carbon Pricing Dialogue during the Climate Week 2014?

D.F.: This is one of our most exciting events during the week – of course, they’re all exciting though! At this dialogue, taking place on 24 September, several governments have accepted invitations, including representatives from Germany, Korea, Norway, New York and Québec.

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