The call to action at the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco is, appropriately, titled “Take Ambition to the Next Level”. Since the signing of the Paris Agreement, actors at all levels (states, cities, countries, companies, and individuals) have been focused on how to turn commitments into reality. Much has been achieved – yet much more needs to be done. The GCAS will be an opportunity to celebrate how far we have come, and to galvanise our efforts to achieve more.
There are headwinds, to be sure. The recent announcement from the new government in Ontario that it is abandoning the WCI cap-and-trade programme, US EPA’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan regulations, and word that North American emissions have increased in the past couple of years are all reminders that there is much to do.
Despite these challenges, the recent WCI auction saw strong demand for California and Quebec allowances despite the uncertainty created by Ontario. States and cities across North America continue to push ahead and explore opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, companies throughout North America continue to price carbon internally and to commit to reducing their emissions.
And there is ample good news as well. The EU ETS price has hit a 10-year high – while the New Zealand ETS reaches record highs – as countries around the world step up their efforts to tackle climate change. Well designed and appropriately ambitious market-based mechanisms have proven themselves to be resilient and effective. North American jurisdictions have much worldwide experience to draw on, from the soon to be expanded RGGI in the north-east US to the comprehensive WCI in the west, to the emerging market in Mexico, there is a solid base to build on. IETA and its members continue to work around the Americas, and across the world, to fight climate change, protect vulnerable populations and build more resilient low-carbon economies. IETA, through its members, continues to strive to take ambition to the next level.
For more information on IETA and our work, see www.ieta.org