Officials agree to strengthen collaboration in bid to more closely aligning regions' carbon markets
The European Union and California have agreed to step up their cooperation on carbon markets, striking an agreement to pursue closer collaboration on carbon pricing, climate investment incentives, and measures to maximise public benefits from carbon revenues.
The agreement is aimed at fostering greater alignment between the EU's emissions trading systems (ETS) and California's cap-and-trade scheme.
EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and California Governor Jerry Brown announced the agreement at the Global Climate Action Summit last week, issuing a joint statement highlighting that "greater alignment of carbon markets is in the interests of both" regions.
They also emphasised the need to engage other jurisdictions around the world that are introducing similar carbon pricing systems in order to "foster broader dialogue".
"Aligning carbon markets could maximise and leverage climate action for economic transformation while ensuring real progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions," the statement read. "The EU Commission and California will work through the 'Florence Process', which brings together representatives of the key jurisdictions, including China, Canada, New Zealand, and others, to address issues of common interest."
Over the next 12 months officials from the EU Commission and California will step up collaborative efforts on developing principles for alignment, while also jointly exploring the role of carbon pricing in sending long-term investment signals for low carbon technologies, they said.
The two parties will also discuss how to address economic competitiveness issues that arise from carbon pricing and how to maximise public benefits from the revenues raised from carbon pricing programmes.
Officials then plan to report back on their progress in 12 months' time, explained Cañete.
"The experience of the EU and California can help identify opportunities and enable higher ambition," he said. "We are dedicated to working closely together, but also with others who are similarly committed to implementing cap and trade, in particular through the Florence Dialogue."
Governor Brown added: "To avoid climate catastrophe California and the EU must collaborate even more closely on carbon pricing - and all other climate actions."
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