New policy group will focus on climate and trade

E&E News
February 15, 2022
By Sara Schonhardt

The bipartisan Climate Leadership Council launched a new center today aimed at shaping U.S. trade policies to rein in rising emissions.

It comes as trade takes a more prominent place in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and as lawmakers in the European Union, Canada and elsewhere pursue tools to protect low-carbon manufacturers from competitors in countries with lax climate standards.

Roughly a quarter of global emissions are embedded in internationally traded goods that are manufactured in one country and consumed in another, according to a study by Global Efficiency Intelligence.

Currently there are no policies in place to encourage the reduction of those traded emissions, said Greg Bertelsen, CEO of the Climate Leadership Council, which advocates for a fee on emissions that would be returned to the public in the form of a dividend.

“If we’re going to address global climate change at the required scale and speed, we need to increasingly marry climate and trade policies,” he said.

The new Center for Climate and Trade will conduct research and analysis to help determine what’s happening with traded emissions, said Catrina Rorke, senior vice president at the Climate Leadership Council and the center’s executive director.

It will look at ways to lower emissions in internationally traded goods, promote international cooperation and try to enhance bipartisan cooperation, said Bertelsen.