International Carbon Action Partnership launched in Lisbon

A political declaration from a coalition of European countries, US states, Canadian provinces, New Zealand and Norway launched the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) on 29 October.
The partnership will bring together governments and public authorities that are designing or implementing carbon markets.

A key component of its activities will be to design joint research activities, but the main focus will be on best practices in emissions trading schemes.

ICAP will encourage common approaches while furthering the partners’ ability to link together to expand the global carbon market, helping to prevent leakage. It will also create a price
incentive to innovate, develop and use clean technologies, and encourage private investors to choose low carbon projects and technologies.

The declaration recognises the urgent need for action to control climate change, and adds: ‘The risks posed by climate change can be minimised by immediate, ambitious and comprehensive action
[…]. Action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is significantly less costly than the potentially catastrophic consequences of inaction; and immediate action is less costly than delaying our
responses.’

Participating via a video message, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: ‘The launch of the International Carbon market Partnership is a truly significant step forward in the global effort to
combat climate change. Building a global carbon market is fundamental to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while allowing economies to grow and prosper.’

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said that the launch of ICAP sends a clear message to other countries, just one month before the UN climate conference in Bali.
‘We will be saying that leaders from across the developed world, leaders with vision, can work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; can put in place the tools at home and globally that
are so essential if we are to succeed in tackling the greatest challenge of our generation.’

Mr Barroso reminded his audience that the EU’s goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% from the 1990 levels by 2050. ‘Developed countries have a special responsibility to take
the lead in cutting emissions and pushing a comprehensive, global agreement on future climate action,’ he said.

The Commission President closed his address with an invitation to all ICAP partners to meet again in Brussels in 2008.

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