SAN FRANCISCO, 16 November - The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has today released a Carbon Neutrality position paper recommending that the cap-and-trade programme in California should become the workhorse of the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The position paper follows comments made by Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) last week, in which she said the cap-and-trade programme must go further to drive emissions reductions.
In its position paper, entitled “Achieving Carbon Neutrality in California Using Cap-and-Trade”, IETA proposes that California extend its cap-and-trade programme and establish caps that decline to net zero by 2045, while expanding compliance flexibilities to ensure that goals can be met at least cost.
The position paper emphasises net emissions technologies — including removals and carbon sequestration — as important strategies to help contain costs.
The paper argues for a more streamlined approach to linking the California-Quebec programme with other partners, as well as embracing the role of carbon offsets by considering revisions to current rules.
“We commend California on operating a successful cap-and-trade programme,” said Katie Sullivan, Managing Director at IETA. “To date, the program has largely been used as a backstop to other climate policies. As California aims to achieve carbon neutrality, it is time for the cap-and-trade programme to evolve into the state’s workhorse for achieving its ambitious goals”.
“An extended cap-and-trade programme aimed at net zero targets is a natural extension of California’s bold leadership on climate change,” said Dirk Forrister, CEO of IETA.
“Cap and trade can meet ambitious climate goals, minimise economic costs and maximise environmental integrity, making it the perfect vehicle for achieving California’s goals efficiently and effectively.”