Putting a price on carbon emissions may be a crucial tool in mitigating climate change, and British Columbia and California have been pioneers in such policies. In 2008, BC was the first jurisdiction in North America to implement a carbon tax, and in 2012 California was the first on the continent to put into effect a cap-and-trade system. As first movers, the two regions have learnt a great many lessons in the transition from carbon pricing as an academic concept through to a legal reality. And they now confront the task of ramping up the carbon price to levels that advocates say will finally push forward deep decarbonization and not just nibbling at the edges of emissions.
Join our panel of experts from California and BC as we untangle some of these thorny policy issues: what has worked well in these systems, what hasn’t, and what obstacles remain? How effective has each policy been in reducing carbon pollution? What about regulation, such as a low carbon fuel standard or legislated closure of coal plants, as an alternative or complement to carbon pricing? And how can carbon pricing be constructed to minimize impacts on key industrial sectors, lower-income households and food security?
Moderated by: Sybil Seitzinger, Executive Director, PICS
Danny Cullenward is an energy economist and lawyer working on the design and implementation of scientifically grounded climate policy. He is the Policy Director at Near Zero, a Research Associate with the Carnegie Institution for Science, and a Lecturer at Stanford Law School. In 2017, the California Senate appointed him to serve on the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee, which is charged with reviewing California’s cap-and-trade program.
Mark Jaccard is a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He teaches interdisciplinary courses in energy and materials sustainability, covering basic physics, technologies, economics, policy and human cognition and behaviour. He has contributed to several major processes and assessments, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change British Columbia’s Climate Action Team. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2009 and British Columbia’s Academic of the Year in 2008.
Michael Mastrandrea is the Director of Near Zero and a Senior Research Associate at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Previously, he was Co-Director of Science for the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit, where he helped lead the development of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. His research has focused on strategies for reducing climate risks and the integration of expert knowledge and quantitative analysis to inform decision-making.
Nancy Olewiler is an economist, professor and director of the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University. Her PhD is in economics from the University of British Columbia. Nancy’s areas of research focus on public policy, including energy and climate policy, regulation and risk, and transportation. She has published in academic journals, edited books, provided reports for governments, and has written two widely used textbooks. Nancy has served on the Board of Directors of BC Hydro, Powertech, and TransLink (and its Chair from 2011 to 2013); is on Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, is a member of the Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council for BC. She is a board member of Technical Safety BC and chairs the Macroeconomic Accounts Advisory Committee for Statistics Canada.