Climate Change Policy: Lessons from the European Experience

Organized by the Rutgers Initiative for Climate and Social Policy and the Rutgers Center for European Studies (with additional support from Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, Ecologies in the Balanace, the Climate and Environmental Change Intiative, and the Office of Undergraduate Education; with funding from New Jersey Natural Gas)

March 25-26, 2010 • The Eagleton Institute of Politics • Wood Lawn

Opening Reception and Keynote Address by Sir Alan Collins, Consul-General, British Consulate New York, Thursday, March 25 at 5:00pm.

With the US Congress and the EPA considering national responses to climate change, debate is intensifying over which policies may prove most effective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Many important climate change initiatives have already been launched at the state level, and New Jersey has emerged as a national leader.  In considering policy options at the state and federal level, US policy makers can benefit greatly from studying the experiences of the EU and its member states in attempting to address climate change.  Over the past decade, the EU and its member states have launched a series of ambitious climate change policies, and we in the US can learn a great deal by examining the successes and shortcomings of these initiatives.

Rutgers Initiative for Climate and Social Policy and Rutgers Center for European Studies are pleased to host this conference that will bring together experts on US and European climate change policies to  explore what US policy-makers can learn from developments in Europe in recent years.


Conference Report
Climate Change Policy: Lessons from the European Experience
March 25-26, 2010


Thursday, March 25

5:oo-5:30          Reception
5:30-5:45             Opening Remarks: R. Daniel Kelemen, Director, Rutgers Center for European Studies & Martin Bunzl, Director, Rutgers Initiative on Climate Social Policy and Politics
5:45 -7:00              Keynote Address: Sir Alan Collins, Consul-General, British Consulate-General in New York. A Q&A session with the audience will follow.

Friday, March 26

8:45-9:15 Coffee/Breakfast

9:15-10:45 Panel 1: Climate Change and Energy Policy in Europe
  Chair/Discussant: Frank Felder
Director, Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy and Associate Research Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

  Christian Egenhofer
Senior Fellow and Head of the Energy and Climate Programme Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, Belgium

Title:  The EU Approach for Coping with Global Environmental and Energy Challenges

Recent Book Chapter: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme: A Blueprint for the Global Carbon Market? In: Twenty-First Century Macroeconomics: Responding to the Climate Challenge, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009.
  Friedo Sielemann
Counselor on Environment and Energy, Deputy Head of Section - Economic Department Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany 

Title:  Development Of Renewable Energy Sources In Germany 2009

  Henriette Bersee
Counselor on Environment, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington DC

Title:  Climate Change Policies in the Netherlands
10:45-11:00 Coffee

11:00-12:30 Panel 2: The EU's Emission Trading Scheme
  Chair/Discussant: Jane Kozinski
Senior Policy Adviser - Climate Change, British Embassy
  Denny Ellerman
Professor Emeritus, MIT Center for Energy and Environment Policy Research

Title: Lessons from the EU ETS

  Michael Mehling
President, Ecologic Institute, Washington, DC

TItle:  The EU's Emission's Trading Scheme: Past Choices, Future Options

  Bruce Mizrach
Professor of Economics, Rutgers University

Title: Integration of the Global Emissions Trading Markets
Abstract: Emissions markets have emerged in Europe, North America, and around the globe. This paper analyzes the market architecture and common factors of emission reduction instruments. Within the EU ETS, I find that the major spot and futures exchanges in Europe are cointegrated. The spot and futures prices for both Phase I and Phase II EUA are also cointegrated, but the futures curve beyond the calendar year evolves independently. While registry linkage has narrowed spreads, EUA and CER spot and futures instruments are not cointegrated. Futures prices efficiently predict auction outcomes in both the U.S. Acid Rain SO2 program and carbon prices in the RGGI. RGGI allowances share a common trend with EUA, and the European markets adjust to prices from the U.S. The introduction of ACES has broken a cointegrating relationship in voluntaryprices. Voluntary instruments that are convertible into mandatory allowance claims imply a 46% probability of price convergence between the U.S. and Europe by 2013.

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Panel 3: Climate Change and Transport in Europe
  Chair/Discussant: Robert Noland
Professor and Director, Voorhees Transportation Center, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

  John Pucher
Professor, Urban Planning and Policy Development Program and Research Associate, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center and Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

Title: Walking and Bicycling to Sustainability: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany
Abstract: European countries have much higher levels of walking and cycling than the USA.  That is one of the main reasons that transport systems in Europe are so much more sustainable, emitting only about a third the CO2 emissions per capita as Americans.  There are many reasons to encourage more walking and cycling, as they generate enormous social, economic, environmental, and health benefits.  This talk examines six categories of measures implemented in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany to encourage more walking and cycling and make them safe and convenient ways to get around cities.  Europe offers important lessons to the USA on ways to integrate walking and cycling into our transport systems and our daily lives.

  Ralph Bühler
Assistant Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech University

Title:  Public Transport that Works: Insights from Germany
Abstract: Increasing public transport ridership offers significant social, environmental, and economic benefits to the individual and society—and can help reduce CO2 emissions.  This presentation examines changes in transport, land-use, and taxation policies in Germany over the last 20 years that have encouraged more transit use.  Over the past two decades, Germany has improved the quality of its public transport services and attracted more passengers while increasing productivity, reducing costs, and cutting subsidies.  The focus of the presentation is on a detailed case study of public transport in the Freiburg region in southern Germany.  Over the last three decades, transit ridership in Freiburg almost doubled to 18% of all trips (a level 10 times higher than the U.S. average).  Moreover, the share of government subsidies for operating transit service in Freiburg fell to only 10% (compared to 65% in the USA). During the same time the share of trips by automobile declined from 38 to 32%, motorization rates have leveled off, and per-capita CO2 emissions from transport have fallen—despite strong economic and population growth.  The paper analyzes local policy changes that have led to this increase in transport sustainability.  Taking into account the different situations in Germany and the USA, the analysis identifies policies that are most transferable across the Atlantic.

  Olivier Pairault
Deputy Counselor for Climate Change and Ecology, Embassy of France

Title:  Climate Change and Transport in Europe
Abstract: With the double aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing protectionist domestic legislations on cars, the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament agreed, after tough negotiations, on the first European wide CO2 from cars regulation after the failure of a 10 years voluntary agreement with car manufacturers. However, they fall short of achieving the harmonization of the European market, as national taxation schemes or domestic cash for clunkers’ criteria remains.

3:00-3:15  Coffee/Tea 

3:15-4:45  Panel 4: US Climate Change Policy: Pending Legislation and What the US Might Learn from Europe
  Chair/Discussant: R. Daniel Kelemen
Director, Center for European Studies 

  Thomas L. Brewer
Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Title:  US Climate Change Policy: Pending Legislation and What the US Might Learn from the European Experience
  Nathaniel Keohane
Director of Economic Polic and Analysis, Environmental Defense Fund

Title:  Design of a U.S. Cap and Trade Program
  Arne Jungjohann
Program Director, Environment & Global Dialogue, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Washington DC

Title:  The U.S. Climate Bill: A European Perspective
  James Bradbury
Senior Associate, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute, Washington DC

Title:  Recent Developments in U.S. Climate Policy
4:45-5:30 Closing Discussion
  Roundtable facilitated by R. Daniel Kelemen
Director, Center for European Studies