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How to make International Trade Policy Supportive of the Paris Agreement

Wednesday, 13 December 2017
14.00 – 15.30
Room 511 at the NGO Centre (CCK Cultural Centre), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Concept

The adoption of the Paris Agreement 2015 has created a new context for the interface between climate change and trade policy. Various national policy measures with trade consequences are contemplated in nationally determined contributions (NDCs), with international trade as a facilitator for achieving numerous climate goals. Moreover, calls for trade measures have intensified following the announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Agreement.

Trade rules and environmental protection should be made mutually supportive, in particular with a view to climate change. In light of recent developments both in the trade and in the climate regimes, there is a need to explore new potentials and pitfalls of the trade and climate policy nexus.

Against this background, this side event seeks to contribute to improving the understanding of the interface between trade and climate change policy. As leaving the fate of climate action to the WTO’s dispute system creates uncertainty, a set of general regulatory options that have been identified for trade and climate policy makers to pursue will be presented and discussed. Furthermore, institutional and procedural aspects of future interactions between the regimes of the UN, WTO and regional free trade agreements are elaborated. Last but not least, we will highlight the role of Argentina and the EU for bringing about mutual supportiveness.

The agenda is available to download.

COP23 Schedule

Climate Strategies co-hosted various side events at COP23 in Bonn, in November 2017. Please find an overview of the events below.

We will also had an exhibit for the entire two weeks, co-hosted with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). Here we presented updates on our projects, publications and events.


International Climate Governance and the Role of the EU in the Implementation of the Paris Agreement

Tuesday, November 7th 2017
Time: 10:00 – 11:30
Location: EU Pavilion

The event presented recent work for the ongoing COP21 RIPPLES project, focused on low-carbon transition and socio-economic implications of the Paris Agreement and the role of international climate governance.

All presentations and further information can be found on the project event page.


Policy Design for a Climate-Friendly Materials Sector

Tuesday, November 7th 2017
Time: 14:30 – 16:00
Location: UK Pavilion

The event presented three cases from industry experts from the steel, cement and chemical sectors, providing comments on the challenges faced for decarbonisation and innovation in these sectors. This was followed by presentations from experts on policy options that governments can implement. The event was concluded with a discussion of what policy mix is necessary to facilitate climate friendly options in the basic materials sector.

The agenda and presentations are available for download.

Presentations:


The Role of Trade Policy in the Post-Paris Climate World

Wednesday, November 8th 2017
Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Location: DIE, Interconnections Zones

This side-event focused on the relationship between international trade and climate change policy. It presented options on how research can contribute to improving the understanding of the interface between trade and climate change policy.

The agenda and presentations are available for download.

Presentations:


Roundtable Dinner: Making the International Trade System more Supportive of the Paris Agreement

Friday, November 10th 2017
Time: 18:30 – 21:00
Location: Restaurant Konrad’s, Bonn Marriott World Conference Hotel

This Roundtable Dinner brought together practitioners and researchers for an in-depth discussion, focusing on options related to border carbon adjustments, fossil fuel subsidies, as well as options addressing institutional relations between climate and trade.

Presentations:

  • Cleo Verkuijl (SEI) – Reforming Fossil Fuel Subsidies through International Trade Agreements
  • Michael Mehling (MIT) – Designing Border Carbon Adjustments (BCA’s) that Work for the Climate

Implementing Coal Transitions to Raise Climate Ambition*  

Wednesday, November 15th 2017
Time: 11:30 – 13:00
Location: Bonn Zone, Room 9 (100)

This event presented and discussed emerging insights from this ongoing project ‘Coal Transitions’. It explores the implications and aims to make policy recommendations for implementing coal transition strategies that are “+2°C-compatible” in six major producing and/consuming countries. Discussion included feedback from a trade unions perspective on Just Transition.

Presentations:

Thursday, 19th of October 2017

Crozet, France (Close to Geneva)

The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 created a new context for the interface between climate change and trade policy. Various measures with trade consequences are contemplated in the national climate pledges put forward under the Agreement, and calls for trade measures have intensified following the announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Agreement.

This changing context draws attention to the role of the international trading system in the response to climate change, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as regional and plurilateral trade agreements. Though much emphasis has been placed on how international trade rules could conflict with climate policies in the wake of the rulings on renewable energy subsidies, this workshop seeks to explore how the trading system could make a positive contribution towards achieving climate objectives.

The workshop brought together practitioners and researchers from the climate and trade communities for an in-depth and substantive discussion, focusing on options related to border carbon adjustments, fossil fuel subsidies, as well as options addressing institutional relations between climate and trade. The workshop will present interim findings on those options from an ongoing Climate Strategies project, with a view to informing and engaging trade and climate policy-makers.

The agenda and presentations are available to download. Two policy briefs, on tackling fossil fuel subsidies and designing border carbon adjustments for climate, are available to download.

For more information about the project, please visit the project webpage or contact us at: info@climatestrategies.org.

Friday, 20th of October 2017

Berlin, Germany

For our project ‘The Role of Policy for a Climate Friendly Materials Sector’, we aim to explore what elements need to be put in place at the European and Member State level to allow for large scale emission reductions from material production.

Based on the feedback received during the course of the project, the workshop will comprise two elements:

Part 1: How can public policy makers decide on what technologies/projects to support?

We will explore how programmes and projects can be designed to achieve the desired learning benefit, both for technology providers and for users. This involves the question: “How to make decisions on awarding support to reflect for example the potential for global diffusion of low-carbon technologies or the transformation potential as anticipated for example in sector road maps?“.

Part 2: How to design public financial support to stimulate private innovation investments that contribute to transformation? 

We will discuss a set of the questions on this topic, including:

  • Can funding-schemes topping-up private investments rely on private commitment and thus reduce public information requirements (to enhance reliability for commercial projects)?
  • Could these schemes contribute to diffusion of learning experience beyond the specific commercial interest?
  • How can financing instruments be results-oriented to ensure innovation being on track with long-term sustainability strategies?
  • Which financial instruments are most appropriate for what type of projects?
  • How far should funding go  and what are the incentives from funding strategies?

This is an invite only event. For more information about this workshop or the project, or if you are interested in attending this event, please contact us at: info@climatestrategies.org.

On October 3rd, in Katowice (Silesia, Poland) stakeholders of the regional development and coal sector will discuss the future of their region.

Silesia is a Polish region where, until recently, the mining sector was one of the strongest pillars of economic development. The region will be particularly vulnerable to structural changes to the industry, the labour market and the energy sector.

The meeting discussed the just transition in Polish regions whose economies are based on coal, with a special focus on Silesia. It highlighted the lessons learned from past industrial restructurings, assessing how to better prepare for upcoming changes, both in the social and economic spheres.

The main objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Discuss the challenges and policy options for a just coal phase-out in Poland;
  • Ensure an exchange of information between local industry/ business experts and researchers.

This event is part of the IDDRI and Climate Strategies-led project, co-organised with the Polish partner of the project – the Institute for Structural Research (IBS). It is funded by the KR Foundation, with additional support from the European Climate Foundation.

This was an invite only event. For further information, please email: info@climatestrategies.org.

Part of the larger Climate Strategies project: “Making the International Trading System Work for Climate Change”, the purpose of this workshop was to shed light on the many different types of fossil fuel subsidies at play; their diverse trade implications; and options for addressing such measures through the WTO and other trade agreements. The agenda is available for download.

This event was a timely opportunity to bring together practitioners and other experts to consider how and to what extent the international trade system can contribute to meeting the international community’s climate change objectives.

The event took place on May 22nd 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop report is available for download. For further information, please email info@climatestrategies.org.

This is the first stakeholder workshop for the European Commission, Horizon2020 funded project COP21 RIPPLES. Information about the project can be found on the official website.

The two-day event will be held on June 28th and 29th 2017, in London, UK. Further details and event agenda will be published shortly.

This is an invite only event. If you are interested in attending or would like any further information, please email info@climatestrategies.org.

This event is part of the IDDRI and Climate Strategies-led project, funded by the KR Foundation with additional support from the European Climate Foundation.

The objective of this second project and stakeholder meeting is to:

  • Present the achievements of the project to date
  • Ensure an exchange of information between the national researchers and the global modelling exercise of the global coal market under various transition scenarios.
  • Present and discuss the national case studies being undertaken by the research teams
  • Receive feedback and advice from the advisory board

The current draft agenda is available for download.

This two-day meeting will take place in London on June 26th and 27th 2017. It is an invite only event. If you would like to attend, please email info@climatestrategies.org.

Production of basic materials like steel, cement or aluminum is responsible for the majority of industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Yet so far national policies provide very limited support for climate friendly material production and efficient use of materials. In principle, Emission Trading Systems (ETS) were implement to provide the desired incentives, in practice carbon leakage concerns trigger free allocation of emission allowances muting the carbon price incentives for most mitigation options.

This event explored how additional policies like consumption charges on materials and innovation support can make climate policy effective for the material sector. Discussion will focus on how such approaches would benefit from international cooperation – and how they can contribute to global emission reductions.

Speakers: Karsten Neuhoff, DIW Berlin; Andrew Marquard, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Florens Flues, OECD.

Discussants: Aki Kachi, Carbon Market Watch; Fu Sha; NDRC

The side event was held in Room Kaminzimmer (113), between 16:45—18:15. Please find the agenda and presentations available for download. This event was also live streamed and  is available to view here.

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Second worshop for the “materials sector” project

Monday, 23rd of January 2017

Berlin, Germany

For our project ‘The Role of Policy for a Climate Friendly Materials Sector’, we aim to explore what elements need to be put in place at the European and Member State level to allow for large scale emission reductions from material production.

In the first workshop we explored and identified the relevant issues under each of the three themes, and we came up with a preliminary set of relevant research questions.

The aim of this second workshop was to present the scope of analysis, initial approaches, and hypotheses that we aim to test. Attendees included fellow researchers and selected stakeholders, with the objective of gathering early feedback and identify opportunities for mutual support in the analysis.

The workshop was split into four sessions:

Session 1: Portfolio of mitigation opportunities 

Following opening remarks from Karsten Neuhoff (DIW Berlin), this session explored options of product innovations, process innovations, and more efficient use of materials for the major materials (cement, steel, aluminium and chemicals).

Presentations were given from Tobias Fleiter (Fraunhofer ISI) and John Barrett (University of Leeds)

Session 2: Regulatory framework and private sector choices on adoption of new technology

The second session discussed policy frameworks that can support the adoption of new technologies in a world of (regulatory) uncertainty once they have reached maturity. Policy options such as public procurement, project based carbon price guarantees, and mechanisms to ensure effective carbon pricing like inclusion of consumption, were discussed. New business models for financing were also explored and evaluated.

Presentations were given from Robert Kok (Radboud University), Jörn Richstein (DIW Berlin) and Karsten Neuhoff (DIW Berlin)

Session 3: Structure of public innovation support

This session presented policy options supporting climate friendly materials innovation, as well as challenges for their success (e.g. ensuring technology competition, time inconsistency of carbon regulation, avoiding regulatory capture).

Presentations were given from Heleen de Coninck (Radboud University), Tomas Wyns (Institute for European Studies VUB), Roland Ismer / Manuel Haussner (University of Erlangen Nürnberg) and Vera Zipperer (DIW Berlin)

Session 4: Integrating perspective and next steps

The final session combined the main points emerging from the three previous sessions into a consistent picture. Discussions followed themes of:

  • Interaction of price based and other instruments for innovation and adoption of new materials and their efficient use.
  • Instruments on innovation versus adoption of technologies

 

All presentations can be accessed from the download box. For more information about this workshop or the project, please contact info@climatestrategies.org.