Climate Policy

Advancing Efficient, Effective Climate Policy Solutions Worldwide

Reducing the severity of global climate change and adapting to climate impacts that cannot be prevented will require fundamental changes in worldwide energy systems and societies. Now more than ever, it is critical that all levels of government design policies that meet this environmental challenge in ways that are highly cost-effective and politically viable.

The Kyoto Protocol is the international plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It sets reduction targets for developed countries and gives them flexibility on how to reach them. Developing countries participate in the Kyoto Protocol in a number of ways, including through the Clean Development Mechanism, a program that encourages developers to finance cost-effective climate mitigation and sustainable development projects in developing countries to help meet developed country caps. The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ran from 2008 to 2012, and international delegates are currently negotiating future targets through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The window of opportunity in the U.S. is open wide to address climate change, and EPA among the agencies is helping to establish some American low carbon industry standards. States are also demonstrating leadership on climate policy by establishing aggressive emissions reduction targets and regulating carbon emissions from the power and automotive sectors.

Shareholders are asking major American corporations to evaluate and respond to their risk exposures related to climate change, which are in turn seeking legislative solutions to provide a more certain business environment. The U.S. Supreme Court has also weighed in, calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to decide whether to regulate GHG emissions from motor vehicles under the federal Clean Air Act. The combination of these factors presents a new opportunity to negotiate a climate policy solution for the United States.

What CCAP is Doing with Climate Policy

CCAP is working on cutting edge policy analysis and recommendations in conjunction with its stakeholder dialogues — the Climate Policy Initiative, the Future Actions Dialogue and the European Dialogue — to advance the vital policy debates in local, state, national and international forums.