In our Member Spotlight series, we are speaking to Climate Strategies members about their research and findings. For the first edition, we chatted with Kateryna Holzer, Senior Researcher at the University of Eastern Finland.

What were key findings from your latest research?

“I am working on a project dealing with regulatory cooperation on carbon standards (RECOSTA). It aims to understand when, where and how regulatory cooperation on carbon standards takes place and how trade mechanisms can boost regulatory cooperation. In our latest paper, Aik Hoe Lim and I argue that the standards’ alignment driven by market forces requires steer from state-to-state regulatory cooperation, as well as government agencies’ engagement with private certification schemes.

International cooperation can help develop common approaches to capturing emissions in trade, enhancing environmental integrity of carbon standards, reducing compliance costs and supporting the convergence of different national emission reduction levels on the path to a universal carbon price.”

What are key recommendations for policymakers?

  • Explore more systematic collaboration between the multilateral institutions for climate governance and trade. This could include the establishment of a joint UNFCCC–WTO forum to exchange policy-relevant evidence on key issues surrounding carbon standards for products.
  • Promote policy coordination and regulatory cooperation on carbon standards and emissions measurement methodologies in the G7 Climate Club, both in the context of border carbon adjustment measures and in other policy areas.
  • Use existing international, regional and sector-based forums to engage with other governments to develop international standards for measuring product emissions.
  • Engage private certification schemes and major producers from respective sectors in implementing carbon regulations and other trade-related climate policy measures.

How can we close the gap between science and policy action in our response to climate change?

“I think the main reason for the gap between climate science and policy action is the high costs of tackling climate change for society. We badly need technological innovations to enable the transition to a net-zero economy. Zero-carbon technologies in many sectors are either lacking or commercially immature.

Today, scientists are under time pressure to develop effective and affordable zero-carbon technologies. Once these technologies have become available and affordable, the gap between knowledge and policy action will be bridged.”