Monday, November 23, 2009

Surfing the Waves of North American Carbon Policy

Yesterday, by way of introduction, I told you about the gap I saw in carbon information for Atlantic Canada. Today, I’d like to tell you a little about me and my personal experience in the carbon business.

I have been working in this ‘carbon’ field for more than 5 years now and in that time it’s been a roller coaster ride of change, excitement, disappointment, and potential. In the immediate days following the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, I worked with international partners in South East Asia and in both South and Central America. In those days we had the support of the Canadian government in our efforts to help developing nations take advantage of the incentives in the Kyoto protocol. We were riding a wave of good will to make sustainability work around the world with partnerships between North and South. Partnerships that would have seen advanced economies sharing their technologies to help developing nations jumpstart sustainable development.

Enter Stephen Harper. When the Conservatives took the reins in Ottawa everything changed. Canada shifted gears. Sustainability and climate change fell off the agenda and many of our partnerships crumbled as a result. So I shifted my focus to the ground-breaking policies emerging in North America. California and the Atlantic NorthEastern States were making a splash in climate strategies in a big way, with new and ambitious carbon policies that will change the way we do business on this continent. The California Action Registry and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative were pioneering, radical ideas 4 years ago. Now they are the foundation of the Obama administration’s cap and trade program design.

Today, I’m working with an innovative firm called Scotian Carbon Services. We’re based in Dartmouth Nova Scotia and we’re devoted to helping clients take advantage of the carbon economy with strategies and services that help them manage emission reductions, mitigate risk, and find new revenue streams.

Sixteen days from now, I will head to the climate meetings in Copenhagen to meet with other folks engaged on the frontlines of climate policy and the carbon business. You can be assured that we are all anxiously waiting to see how Canada will play its hand at the climate negotiating table. The plot thickens. Stay tuned.

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