January 31, 2011
USDA and CFTC Begin Carbon Market Design Discussion
Today and tomorrow the CFTC and the USDA will host a workshop to discuss issues and opportunities related to creation of a carbon market. According to the press release:
The workshop will bring together policymakers, industry participants, nongovernmental organizations and academics to discuss issues facing the establishment of efficient carbon markets in the United States. The workshop will serve as a forum to consider the lessons learned from existing carbon/environmental markets to inform policymakers about potential hurdles to the design of domestic carbon markets.
This looks like an interesting conversation, and there are some great speakers on the agenda. One thing I noticed, though, is that there does not appear to be anyone on the panel with a legal background, in academics or practice. I also didn't see anyone representing the people who would actually handle the nuts and bolts of operating in such a market. And there isn't clearly anyone representing the political perspectives.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not questioning the background of the people at the conference or the value of the conference. I just can't help but notice that the scope of the speakers seems to underrepresent some key segments of creating and implementing such a market.