In May 2009, the Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law and NYU's Institute for International Law and Justice brought together leading experts from around the world for a ground-breaking meeting on climate finance in Abu Dhabi. "Climate Change: Financing Green Development" addressed new ways to finance and promote reductions in developing-country greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously promoting clean development. This was the world's first large-scale conference to focus on the magnitude of the required funding; new mechanisms to deliver public and private investments in limiting developing country emissions and promoting green growth; and associated regulatory, trade, and tax law aspects of such actions. Proposals to meet the climate finance challenge were presented by more than 50 high-level participants from developing and developed country governments, the climate finance industry, multinational businesses, international organizations, and NGOs, along with a dozen NYU Law faculty and students. "Bringing together experts in development, finance, trade, and tax makes a much deeper contribution to solving climate change problems," observed NYU Law Professor Mitchell Kane, an international tax specialist.
"It's a rare thing to witness the world's top legal minds, economists, and policymakers sit around a table to come up with cutting edge solutions to pressing global problems. For three days in the United Arab Emirates, though, I got to do just that. I got to be a part of history, as many of the proposals developed in Abu Dhabi have already made their way into high-level discussions leading up to December's international climate talks in Copenhagen" - Dan Firger, JD Candidate '10Climate Finance: Regulatory and Funding Strategies for Climate Change and Global Development, a book that presents the ideas and proposals of the conference, is now available. It contains 36 targeted policy essays from leading academics, politicians, and practitioners that present a succinct overview of the emerging field of climate finance, defining the issues, setting the stakes, and making a wide range of new proposals for financial, regulatory, and governance mechanisms for the run-up to the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. It will be published in paperback on October 15, 2009, and is available now electronically at www.climatefinance.org, where ongoing work from this project can also be found.
Speakers and guests participated in panels on new mechanisms to fund mitigation in developing countries, the opportunities these mechanisms afford business, implications for climate market design, the governance of climate funds and markets, and the tax and trade implications of these regimes.
Conference participants also had a chance to interact with the Masdar Initiative, the Abu Dhabi government's innovative initiative to become a world leader in green technology and low-carbon development. They spoke with investors and engineers from Masdar, and visited the Abu Dhabi site of the world's first-ever carbon-neutral city. The conference was generously supported by the Abu Dhabi government and NYU-Abu Dhabi in anticipation of the opening of NYU's Abu Dhabi campus in 2010.
More information on the Abu Dhabi conference and the proposals presented can be found here.