Gilles Dufrasne on cap-and-trade, offsets, and climate policymaking - Kathy Varol
Gilles Dufrasne
June 7, 2023   |   Episode #: 057

Gilles Dufrasne on cap-and-trade, offsets, and climate policymaking

Show Notes:

Carbon Market Watch works to ensure that carbon pricing and other climate policies cut pollution and drive a just transition towards zero-carbon societies. The NGO utilizes evidence-based advocacy to improve climate action through market-based solutions working in concert with sound regulatory policy.

Gilles Dufrasne leads Carbon Market Watch’s work on global carbon markets. He has been following carbon market negotiations at the UN climate and aviation agencies, as well as developments on the voluntary carbon market. Gilles is a member of the expert panel of the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM),  and the Technical Advisory Group of the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTI).

In this episode we discuss:
✅ The two types of carbon markets (what they are, and how they’re different)
✅ The issues with carbon offsets
✅ The most important thing any business can do to impact climate change


3 episode takeaways (listen to the full episode for a lot more gems!): 

1️⃣  Fighting climate change is a learning journey for all of us. This is new territory. A common global enemy. Unfortunately, time isn’t a luxury we have. We need to test, experiment, learn, and adjust at an accelerated rate to avoid collective disaster.

One key element that will help us on this journey is standardized and transparent reporting requirements for companies across the globe. This will enable employees, investors, consumers, and governments to all make informed decisions that collectively move us in the right direction.

2️⃣ Regulations that raise the bar of sustainability requirements across industries change the business equation. It makes the capital investment needed to innovate more sustainable practices level across companies, while the competitive advantage of cutting corners is removed from the equation.

It also opens a door to collaboration on system solutions across industries, creating a far bigger shift than the impact a single company can make by adopting individual sustainable practices.

3️⃣ Remarks from US Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 are very relevant to the need to diversify how we measure success and prosperity.

He says, “Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things….If we judge the United States of America by [GNP]—that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads…Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”


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