Topic: Public Policy

Public Policy Articles


What We Could Do With a $5 Carbon Charge on Your Flight

Some of the money raised from aviation offsetting could be plowed into renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. But finance could also be used to protect a lot of ecosystem carbon.

Five Things We Can Do in the Next 24 Months to Mobilize Major Investments in Ecosystem Restoration and Climate Resilience

A key goal of the Environmental Markets and Finance Summit, hosted by Forest Trends and AEMI, was to begin mapping out what a coordinated financial strategy could look like, in order to scale up global restoration and sustainable land use dramatically. Environmental markets (the most prominent of which focus on carbon offsets, wetland and habitat credits, sustainably certified products, and water quality offsets and trading) have matured mostly in silos. It is time to start putting the pieces together and cross-pollinating solutions.

Understanding Elizabeth Warren’s Risk Disclosure Act

The Green New Deal has been the focal point of the climate debate among the Democratic presidential candidates. Less publicized is the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, a proposal from senator and presidential contender Elizabeth Warren, that seeks to frame climate change as a threat to the public markets.
External News

EPA Updates Water Quality Trading Policy

In February 2019, the EPA’s assistant administrator for water issued a memo updating the agency’s water quality trading policy “to promote market-based mechanisms.” The memo includes six principles intended to clarify aspects of the federal water quality trading program, provide tools and incentives to states and local governments to implement trading programs, and promote increased investment in conservation.
Pensacola, Florida

The Gulf of Mexico on the Pensacola, Florida coast / Capt_tain Tom / CC BY 2.0

Building Demand in US Water Quality Trading Markets

Environmental credit trading programs have gained traction for pollutants like carbon emissions, at least in concept. Is water quality trading the next frontier? The mechanism offers the possibility of more flexible and cost-effective water quality control, but in contrast to some environmental credits, markets have struggled to gain momentum.

Green Old Deal: Why Carbon Offsets Matter More than Ever

Recently demand for offsets has risen fast, and could rise faster if federal or state climate legislation created compliance markets for them. Voluntary carbon markets are relatively small, and voluntary carbon offsets cut less than two tenths of a percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions — but in a larger compliance market, where offsets help meet climate policy requirements, they could cut orders of magnitude more.