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An oral history of the carbon market

IETA is proud to present an oral history of the carbon market, from the Kyoto Protocol up to the road to Paris! Hear about the key developments in the global market in the words of those that were there.

One video chapter will be released each week, starting from 25 May 2016. In early July, we will be releasing an accompanying book alongside the final video chapter – email oralhistory@ieta.org to be kept up to date and to ensure you don’t miss out!

Chapter 1: Markets and the Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was the first international piece of law that tried to articulate an idea of carbon rights and creating a market

- Martijn Wilder

The biggest challenge at Kyoto was definitely trying to get global agreement on the use of markets

- Dirk Forrister

Chapter 2: Early emissions trading

We didn’t know the answers and people were very open about that, we were just exploring and trying to work out how could we do this.

- Nicola Steen

The message was ‘emissions trading works, and here’s what we think ought to be in it’

- John Scowcroft

Chapter 3: The EU ETS

We kept thinking it was going to happen, the Protocol was going to be approved and emissions trading was going to be the greatest thing in the world – some of that came true.

- Andrew Ertel

We headed out of 2008, the recession started to take hold, the realisation that there was a surplus of allowances building in the market hit the market, and the price started falling. And it fell and it fell

- David Hone

Chapter 4: The CDM

As entrepreneurs, we’re patient, but as the months and years went by and we have to pay the bills, the patience erodes

- Marco Monroy

In terms of creating a culture of an entire entrepreneurial class that was out there looking for ways to reduce emissions … that’s a much more important effect of the CDM

- Marc Stuart

Chapter 5: Carbon funds and climate finance

It was like making love in the time of cholera – it was at the one and same time incredibly exciting and dangerous

- Ken Newcombe

It was impossible to reach our Kyoto target without making use of international carbon markets

- Teresa Ribera

Chapter 6: All change in Durban

The Durban Platform was really a sea change in the negotiations

- Jeff Swartz

Leadership is absolutely critical to get tough decisions on an international level. I think that was missing in Copenhagen in 2009

- Frank Joshua

Chapter 7: To Paris – and beyond

I don’t think the grand vision of Kyoto and one international, unified force-theory-Einstein-would-be-proud carbon market is going to occur

- Jack Cogen

Markets are able to mobilise and engage a lot more people than if you only have a command-and-control measure

- Pedro Moura Costa

Thanks to Nar Navarro Film (video) and Hitman Creative Media Inc (book)

Thanks also to Shell and EEX for support for the project

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