Seminar 2: Carbon Markets and the climate change challenge

– 2 days –

讲座2 :碳市场和气候变化挑战

The world climate is changing – with increased observations of extreme weather events, warmer and more extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, among other impacts, including on rainfalls. The international scientific community, through the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), agrees that historical greenhouse gases emissions (mostly CO2, CH4 and N2O) from human societies have played a key role in climate change. Future emissions, especially from the energy sector which is the most important source of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and an important one of CH4 (methane), can significantly alter the future climate of the Earth. Human societies may not be able to enjoy similar ecosystem services to the ones they have historically benefited from due to disruptions in ecosystems, caused by such evolution of the climate.

This seminar covers the background on climate change in order to understand its implications. Greenhouse gases emissions from the world are then studied, from a country and sector perspective, to gain insights on the difficulty to change historical emissions paths. The justification of carbon markets and its alternatives is explored, with a focus on recent ambitious initiatives, notably the California-Quebec cap-and-trade system. Finally, international aspects of carbon management are investigated: from local initiatives under Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) to the geopolitical analysis of global climate negotiations and potential financial collapse of large hydrocarbon-based energy companies.

The format of this seminar is the following:

Day one – Climate change and greenhouse gases emissions

      • Climate change basics and issues
      • World greenhouse gases emissions: countries, sectors, intensities and abatement options
      • Carbon management strategies and the rationale for carbon market

Day two – Carbon markets

      • Focus on the most developed carbon markets: the Western Climate Initiative (California and Quebec) and the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS)
      • Carbon offsets and clean development mechanisms (CDM)
      • Global climate negotiations and the potential for a carbon bubble
 
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