March 2019 - With the idea of linking research to policy and implementation, the world's first International Research Conference on Carbon Pricing was held on February 14-15 in New Delhi, India. The two-day CPLC event convened by the World Bank Group brought together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, business leaders, and other carbon pricing and carbon market stakeholders to discuss the challenges of adopting and implementing carbon pricing and market-based instruments.
With around 25 percent of the global emissions expected to be covered by carbon pricing, there is an urgent need to advance research-based evidence around the impact of carbon pricing. With the objective to better inform public and private decision makers on using carbon pricing, the event witnessed thirty presenters showcasing their research papers. The papers, which had been selected and reviewed in a call for papers led by an international scientific committee, were presented in individual sessions focusing on six key themes spread over the two days: (1) Learning from Experience, (2) Carbon Pricing Design, (3) Concepts and Methods, (4) Political Economy, (5) Decarbonizing the Economy, and (6) Emerging Frontiers.
These thematic sessions were complemented by plenary sessions which covered key issues around carbon pricing, including experience gained across the globe in implementing carbon pricing instruments, options to further promote carbon pricing and issues requiring further consideration in future research. One such plenary session took the form of a discussion on Article 6, in which panellists reflected on the outcomes from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Katowice and possible ways forward. Panellists underscored the fact that Article 6 – which deals with market-based and non-market approaches – was the only item for which the development of a rulebook was deferred for finalization at the next COP. Nathaniel Keohane from the Environmental Defence Fund stressed that although great progress has been made in general, some issues still need further consideration. He emphasized that from an environmental perspective, it will be critical to avoid double counting of emission reductions and suggested that a coalition of countries working on carbon markets is required in order to share experience gained so far. Dirk Forrister from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) highlighted the role of private certification standards which could be used in developing Article 6 pilots. Mr. V.K. Duggal from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) emphasized countries’ need to build the domestic infrastructure required for them to participate in Article 6 and pointed to the Article 6 support facility launched by ADB in Katowice that will provide advisory support for countries. Abdelrahman M. Al-Gwaiz, Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia stated that having different metrics for denominating internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) will be crucial for the Parties participating in the cooperative approaches. He further stressed that the future of existing CDM projects is a critical issue to be addressed at the next COP.
The CPLC Research Conference placed these different perspectives concerning carbon pricing and carbon markets on a common platform. The conference led to sharing of experience, knowledge and research to better understand the effectiveness of carbon pricing policies and how their use under the Paris Agreement aids the objectives of building consensus and fostering cooperation.
An in-depth analysis entitled Enhancing Scientific Exchange - Reflections on the first CPLC Research Conference has been published in CMR 01|2019 Where Next for Carbon Markets?