ICAP WEBINAR - ICAP hosted a webinar on the latest climate policy developments in the United States.  

On 5 June, ICAP hosted a webinar on the latest climate policy developments in the United States.  

ICAP Members discussed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act and received an update on policy efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions through market- based systems in Washington State.

Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, first presented the details of the EPA’s proposed rule. The rule aims to reduce emissions in the sector by about 30% by 2030 from a 2005 basis. States are given rate-based reduction goals for CO2 emissions according to their respective energy mixes. It is then up to state governments to decide on their own policy instruments to reach the goals, drawing on what the EPA calls “building blocks” of process efficiency, fuel switching, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. States can also convert their targets to absolute reductions and establish their own cap and trade programs or join existing schemes such as RGGI or that of California.

Bill Drumheller, Climate & Energy Specialist, Washington State Department of Ecology, then provided insights on recent policy developments in Washington, where Democratic Governor Jay Inslee established a multi-stakeholder Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force in April. The task force is to come up with proposals for market mechanisms to achieve defined emission limits by November, which is to form the basis for draft legislation in 2015. The taskforce is to deliver final recommendations by the end of November and will shape the debate about how Washington will achieve its emission reduction goals up to 2020 and beyond.

During the Q&A, ICAP members inter alia inquired about the possible legal challenges to the EPA’s proposal, its implications for RGGI and the Californian ETS, and design alternatives to be considered during the review process.