Public policy think tank Civic Exchange and the British Consulate-General co-organised a workshop to explore the latest developments in carbon trading and the implications for the financial centres of the world. This workshop is supported by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited.
As the world considers how to meet the climate change challenge, financial centres such as Hong Kong must work out what positive role they can play to price greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This would be an important step in ensuring the right financial incentives are in place to achieve large emissions reductions within the foreseeable future.
The UNFCCC's flexible market mechanisms, including emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), were designed to assist in that process but they face many challenges. There is expectation that significant progress can be made by the Conference of the Parties takes place in Copenhagen in 2009.
One of the hurdles for Copenhagen 2009 is how to adjust the flexible market mechanisms so that they work better, and how financial services can be reshaped to help the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
Ian Johnson of IDEAcarbon explored the instrumentalisation of carbon, namely the emergence of carbon credits on global exchanges and what can be done to homogenise markets- Civic Exchange
Ian joined IDEAcarbon following a distinguished career at the World Bank. For eight years, he was the bank's vice president for sustainable development, overseeing its work on climate change and carbon finance.
As VP, Ian was responsible for policy, strategy, and oversight of the World Bank's work in environment, social policy, and agriculture and rural development. He was the chief spokesperson for the bank on all matters of policy related to environmentally and socially sustainable development.
Ian created and oversaw a major expansion in new and innovative funds including the bank's carbon finance business, the Global Environment Facility and Montreal Protocol funds utilised by the bank, the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, and major funds for social and economic policy research.
Prior to that, he played a major role in negotiating the establishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and was senior manager of its operations from 1992 for about six years.
Previously, he was an economist with the British government and spent five years in rural Bangladesh working with the United Nations and a voluntary organization.
Ian is presently an advisor to Globe, G8+5, and to the UNFCCC and Chairman of IDEAcarbon.
Christine Loh is the founder and CEO of Civic Exchange, an independent, non-profit public policy think tank. Loh has an English law degree and a Masters of Law degree in Chinese and Comparative Law. She has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Law, honoris causa, by her alma mater, the University of Hull.
Loh has worked in many areas, including law, business, politics, media, and the non-profit sector, but is best known as a leading voice in public policy in Hong Kong, particularly in promoting democracy and environmental protection.
In January 200,7 she was named as Hong Kong Business's "Woman of the Year for 2006."
IDEAcarbon Chairman Ian Johnson explains why a market for trading carbon emissions is an effective system to reduce greenhouse gases, and lauds the Kyoto Protocol as the first global framework for trading.
Johnson claims the Kyoto Protocal was the first global experiment in commodifying a public good, a real solution to to the classic Tragedy of the Commons.