Emissions trading will be an essential component of an effective global climate protection regime. If implemented at the global level, emissions trading could cut the costs for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by a factor of ten or more.
To achieve these economies, however, local and regional trading systems must be designed in a consistent manner that ultimately allows their interconnection. This project supports the development of local emissions trading systems and linkages between these systems to promote a coordinated, cost-effective institutional mechanism for reducing global GHG emissions.
The initial focus of the Emissions Markets project is on domestic programs, which may ultimately form the basis for a national GHG market. WRI is engaged with several domestic emissions trading programs that are currently underway or under development.
In addition to laying the groundwork domestic markets, U.S. voluntary and regional efforts offer a path for broader engagement by the United States in international emissions markets. WRI participates in international policy discussions related to emissions trading, and closely tracks developments under the Kyoto Protocol and European Union Emissions Trading System, for example, to ensure that lessons are widely shared and that emissions markets around the world develop consistently.