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2008-09 Seminars


Leveling the Carbon Playing Field: Addressing Climate Change in a Global Economy

Trevor Houser
Director, Energy & Climate Practice
The Rhodium Group

Abstract
Momentum towards federal climate policy is building in the US and the international community has kicked off a new round of climate talks. In both crafting national legislation and negotiating national targets, policymakers are grappling with how to address the role of international trade and investment in either advancing of impeding progress towards addressing climate change. Washington and Brussels are concerned that aggressive action to reduce emissions, in the absence of similar steps by China and India, will put industry in the developed world at a competitive disadvantage and undermine the effectiveness of policy as that industry migrates abroad. Beijing and Delhi argue that much of their emissions already come from exports to the West, for which the US and Europe should shoulder the burden. Trevor Houser will address how globalization is shaping the carbon footprint of major emitting countries, how it impacts both national climate policy and international climate negations and what it means for the global trading system in the years ahead.