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Book Launch: Effective Global Carbon Markets - Justin D Macinante



Virtual Event


Wed 21 October 2020

Effective Global Carbon Markets

Networked Emissions Trading Using Disruptive Technologies

Author: Justin D Macinante, Edinburgh Law School

Event Time:

  • 11:00-12:00 (BST) 
  • 21:00-22:00 (AEST) 
  • 06:00-07:00 (US-EST)


Hosted by Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Edinburgh Law School

Discussants include: 

  • Professor Michael Mehling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Martijn Wilder (Founder of Pollination Group, former global head of Baker & McKenzie climate change practice)
  • Dr Sanja Bogojevic, Associate Professor of Law, Oxford University


About the book

Scientific consensus is that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to be drastically reduced in the short to medium term if the impact of dangerous, human-induced climate change is to be ameliorated. Mitigation of GHG emissions means changing behaviour, thus changing the way many economic activities are carried out. Putting a price on GHG emissions can do this, either by taxing activities that give rise to them, or by creating a market (in conjunction with regulation) in the form of emissions trading schemes to achieve mitigation in a cost-effective manner.

This book seeks to contribute in a specific way to timely mitigation action. It proceeds on the basis that carbon pricing and, in particular, carbon emissions trading, is an important component of mitigation policies in general, and one adopted already in many jurisdictions. The proposal detailed in this book is of a model that can connect those jurisdictions, so that their policies and programmes are more effective and operate more efficiently.

The model proposes networking of carbon markets through application of distributed ledger technology (DLT). The proposal sets out the infrastructure, operational mechanisms, and rules (including indicative transactional contract terms) that this networking might entail. Importantly, it also advances a governance structure for such networked markets within the policy and regulatory setting of the Paris Agreement.

The hypothesis on which the proposal relies is that networking can address issues that previously militated against the effectiveness of international emissions trading as an essential tool of climate policy. The trading mechanism proposed, based on application of the particular technology, has the potential to facilitate better outcomes, thereby expanding positive participation of a range of economic actors.

Thus, the overriding aim of this book is to elaborate a specific operational design for an inter-jurisdictional carbon market, for which currently there is no feasible, effective or practical equivalent. The objective is to arrive at a suitable design for regulatory and institutional frameworks for trading emissions in the context of the Paris Agreement and wider governing structures, treating emissions trading as a financial market and using DLT architecture to connect different markets in a network.

In broad terms, the book proceeds to this objective by:• examining current arrangements for emissions trading, taking account of emissions trading’s dual functions as both GHG mitigation policy measure and trading market, from three perspectives;• proposing a model for networking carbon markets on a distributed ledger (DL) architecture that addresses both the identified shortcomings and future requirements if the carbon market is to be effective as an instrument of GHG mitigation policy; and• proposing a framework for analysis of the regulatory and institutional frameworks for such a market, then applying that framework to analyse the proposed governance structure.


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