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European Law Monitor NewsNations, States, Provinces Announce Carbon Markets Partnership to Reduce Global Warming

On 29 October 2007, a coalition of European countries, U.S. states, Canadian provinces, New Zealand and Norway in Lisbon, Portugal announced the formation of the International Carbon Action Partnership to fight global warming.

ICAP will provide an international forum in which governments and public authorities adopting mandatory greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade systems will share experiences and best practices on the design of emissions trading schemes. This cooperation will ensure that the programs are more compatible and are able to work together as the foundation of a global carbon market. Such a market will boost demand for low-carbon products and services, promote innovation, and allow cost effective reductions so as to allow swift and ambitious global reductions in global warming emissions.

The ground-breaking international and interregional agreement was signed by U.S. and Canadian members of the Western Climate Initiative, northeastern U.S. members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as well as European members including the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, and the European Commission. New Zealand and Norway joined on behalf of their emissions trading programs.

Leaders attending the summit included: President José Sócrates, Council of the European Union and Prime Minister of Portugal; European Commission President José Manuel Barroso; Governor Jon Corzine, New Jersey; Governor Eliot Spitzer, New York and Premier Gordon Campbell, British Columbia. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, participated with video messages.

ICAP will open lines of communication for sharing valuable information, such as research, effective policy initiatives, lessons learned and new developments. By working together to establish similar design principles, ICAP partners are ensuring that future market systems, in conjunction with regulation in the form of enforceable caps, will boost worldwide demand for low-carbon products and services, provide a larger market for innovators, and achieve global emissions reductions at the swiftest pace and lowest cost possible. The new partnership supports the current ongoing efforts undertaken under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which all ICAP members agree has a central role in fighting global warming.

Global warming is a problem that requires a global solution. ICAP will facilitate such a global solution by:

Rigorously and accurately monitoring, reporting and verifying emissions and working to determine reliable sources appropriate for inclusion in a globally linked program.

Encouraging common approaches and furthering partners ´ability to link together to expand the global carbon market, helping to prevent leakage.

Creating a clear price incentive to innovate, develop and use clean technologies.

Encouraging private investors to chose low carbon projects and technologies, generating the flow of money needed to support a shift to a low-carbon future.

Providing flexible compliance mechanisms that ensure reliable reductions at the fastest pace and lowest cost.

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