Cleantech Forum

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The Austin CleanTech Forum had a program called "Market Mechanisms to Curb Global Warming: Carbon Training and Other Cleantech Innovations" on March 22, featuring Jim Marston of Enviornmental Defense (moderator), Fred Blood of Austin Energy, David Eaton form the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin, Susan Wood from AgCert Services, and Roger Feldman from Andrews Kurth. The session was a very good overview of the role of markets in mitigation of global warming, beginning with Fred Blood's overview of the Austin Climate Protection Plan unveiled recently. Everybody seemed to agree that Austin is a leader, possibly the leader, in municipal green energy program development. Market approaches to global warming are complex and unproven, however, and approaches like cap and trade, renewable energy credits (RECs), and offsetting are not completely worked out. Much of the rest of the world is experiencing market responses to the Kyoto Treaty, but because the U.S. is not a signor, it's not completely clear how we can participate in those markets. The panel as a whole stressed the need to clarify national goals; until we have that clarfification, the context for business strategy will be unclear. This is one of a series of CleanTech Forums presented by the Clean Energy Incubator, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Assocation. The next will be April 26, on Bioenergy and Biofuels. There's also a Clean Energy Venture Summit coming up May 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency.