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The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Kyoto Mechanisms
Discussion Bulletin
Summary Report
Friday, 10 October 2008
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The Kyoto Mechanisms:
Key to combating climate change? - A Discussion

9 October 2008 | New York City, New York, US

View of Columbia University from the discussion room.
A high-level discussion on the role of the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms was held at Columbia University in New York, US, on Thursday, 9 October 2008. The event took as its theme, “The Kyoto Mechanisms: Key to Combating Climate Change?”

Much of the two-hour event involved a discussion between Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. These two key speakers and other experts debated the merits of the Kyoto mechanisms and carbon taxes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The aim of the discussion was to help focus attention on market-based mechanisms, carbon taxes and other policies and measures being considered by policy makers and negotiators working to establish a framework to address climate change. The deadline for a new international agreement has been set for December 2009, when delegates will gather for a major UN conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The event at Columbia University was organized by the Earth Institute and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Nearly one hundred and fifty people were in attendance, and others viewed and participated in the event via live webcast, with the speakers fielding questions from web participants in Canada, Kenya and Rwanda. More.
Jeffrey Sachs (right), Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, argued that simple approaches, such as carbon taxes, should replace attempts to design complex financial instruments.
Klaus Lackner (right), Professor of Geophysics at the Earth Institute, stressed the importance of carbon capture and storage.
Moderator John Drexhage (right), Director of the Climate and Energy Program at IISD, stated that the real contribution of the Kyoto Protocol will be that it was the first international agreement to send a price signal on carbon.
Participants mingle at the end of the meeting.
Related Links
The Earth Institute at Columbia University resources
Event information
Registration form
Live webcast

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