When started in 2007, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) looked poised to become North America’s largest and most comprehensive greenhouse gas emission cap and trade system. However, political, economic and legal challenges have slowed its development and its status is far from certain. Two key questions must be asked: Will the WCI develop into a working trading system and, if so, will linkage with the European Union Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) be possible? This talk identifies several potential barriers to the WCI’s development and linkage with the EU-ETS by examining the evolution of the WCI and comparing its geopolitical context, overarching structure, and internal mechanisms with those of the EU-ETS.
Sonja Klinsky is a post-doctoral researcher working on climate change policy. She is currently based at Cambridge University, but also holds a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions post-doctoral fellowship shared between Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. Her most recent work examines the Western Climate Initiative greenhouse gas cap and trade system specifically, but she is also examining justice issues in climate policy generally, including public perceptions of justice in climate policy contexts.