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Emissions Trading: International Law and Dispute Resolution

Date: 18 November 2020

Time: 13:00-15:00 (UK time)

Venue: Online

Recording of the main presentations

(discussions were not recorded)

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Read the event summary 

Event Details

In April of this year, the COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19. One consequence: agreement on the rules for a global emissions trading scheme under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement will be deferred again, to at least 2021. 

As agreement under Article 6 has been delayed in the past, various groups - including the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) and Carbon Market Watch - have advocated for increased linking of domestic schemes. The thinking is that this would encourage the creation of a global carbon market, involving a range of State and non-State actors, and thus lead to harmonization of regulatory standards and lower the costs of reducing emissions.

In that context, this webinar considers existing international and domestic schemes, as well as the risks to market actors as those schemes evolve and interact, before discussing how these risks may give rise to international disputes.


Our speakers will cover the following topics:

  • An overview of emissions trading schemes, explaining the basic objective of a cap-and-trade regime and carbon offsetting, the relevance of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, and the range of regional and domestic trading and offsetting schemes that have been established to date.
  • Examples of the range of legal relationships created between entities involved in emissions trading, including between and amongst States, regions, cities and corporates.
  • Discussion of the risks and opportunities for participants in the current and future landscape of emissions trading schemes, including changing international, regional and domestic policies, tightening of emissions caps, market price dynamics, amongst others.
  • How these risks are allocated and addressed in a variety of legal instruments, from policies to contracts, some of which create unique legal relationships, such as agreements to link schemes across international borders.
  • Discussion of the current and future landscape of related disputes, including the role of arbitration in helping to mitigate the risks associated with emissions trading and carbon offsetting and thereby promote more efficient and effective trading regimes.

Event convened by Prof Yarik Kryvoi, Senior Research Fellow in International Economic Law and Director, Investment Treaty Forum.

Chair: Kathryn Khamsi, Partner, Three Crowns LLP 

Kathryn is a partner in the Paris office of Three Crowns. She acts for states and corporate clients in all types of disputes - including investment treaty, commercial and state-to-state - with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. Prior to her career in international arbitration, Kathryn was a Legal Advisor to the Prime Minister of East Timor (Timor-Leste), coordinating East Timor's negotiations with Australia over maritime boundaries. She also worked for the International Development Law Organization in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Speakers: William Acworth, International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP);

William has close to a decade of experience working in climate and energy policy, spread across public, private and academic institutions. Currently, he heads the ICAP Secretariat, where he moderates the exchange of experience with emissions trading between more than thirty governments worldwide. He is an experienced economist and is active in building capacity surrounding carbon markets globally.

Lisa DeMarco, DeMarco Allan LLP, Canada; Vice Chair of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA);

Lisa is recognized as a Canadian and international expert in climate and energy law. She has over two decades of experience in law, regulation, policy and advocacy relating to oil, gas, power and all aspects of climate change. Lisa represents several governments and leading energy companies in a wide variety of natural gas, electricity, pipeline and energy storage matters before various regulatory agencies, including the Ontario and National Energy Boards. Lisa also assists Canadian energy companies and Indigenous business organizations on domestic and overseas power project development, renewable power projects, energy storage projects, sustainable and climate finance transactions, carbon capture and storage, climate-related financial disclosure, corporate climate risk, environmental and social governance, green bonds and sustainable business strategy. Lisa plays an ongoing and active role in the development of energy and GHG emissions law and policy throughout Canada and internationally. Lisa is a member of the boards of directors of the Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS, the International Emissions Trading Association and Carbon Credit Solutions Inc. She is ranked by Chambers Global as one of the world's leading climate change lawyers and regularly attends and advises on related United Nations negotiations.

Jacob Werksman, Principal Adviser to the Director General for Climate Action in the European Commission

Jacob is an expert on international climate law and policy and represents the EU at the international climate negotiations. He has taught and published widely on the international legal dimensions of climate policy, including on the relationship between carbon markets and international trade and investment agreements.

Join in the conversation @BIICL #ITFlaw #Climatechange #ISDS

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 2 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

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Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Carmel Brown in advance of the event that you are attending.

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