California is often at the forefront of implementing strong environmental regulations, many times going beyond what the federal Environmental Protection Agency requires. We hope other state and country leaders will follow California's example as the world comes together to build off of the momentum of the Paris agreement.
When climate negotiators signed off on the historic Paris Agreement in December, they opened the door for countries to begin cross-border trading of greenhouse-gas emission reductions and signaled the advent of a price on carbon, which world leaders from Canada's Justin Trudeau to Ethiopia's Hailemariam Desalegn say is needed to get companies slashing greenhouse-gas emissions today.
A cannon fired golden confetti into the air to celebrate the opening of China's first cap-and-trade pilot market, the Tianjin Climate Exchange, in 2008, to help address climate change. Then, in 2015, after establishing six additional pilots, China announced it would soon be implementing a national cap-and-trade system.
The voluntary carbon markets have served as the testing ground for compliance programs all over the world, even moving forward when efforts to implement mandatory cap-and-trade programs stalled. This has led to the voluntary markets having an influence that extends well beyond the nearly 1 billion offsets transacted over the last decade.