Event 1: Norway’s approach to reconciling oil and sustainability: heritage funds, carbon pricing, and economic stability

Sustainable Prosperity welcomes Kristin Halvorsen, former Minister of Finance for Norway and Director of CICERO, to deliver a keynote on Norway’s experience with its sovereign wealth fund and carbon tax at Congress 2015 .

As a major oil-producing, northern, developed nation, Norway’s experience with reconciling oil and sustainability are highly relevant for Canada -- and especially oil producing provinces. In this keynote, Ms. Kristen Halvorsen will draw on her experience as Finance Minister in Norway from 2005-2009 to discuss how imposing a high carbon tax on oil producers (and one higher than that imposed on trading partners) need not harm oil production, but can increase competitiveness of the oil and gas industry by encouraging clean innovation. The Norwegian experience also shows that putting public oil revenues into a future trust fund has many benefits: including providing economic stability, reducing currency inflation, and sharing this one-time wealth with future generations, and Ms. Halvorsen will reflect on how the management of heritage funds can be improved to support climate friendly investments (a subject of current debate in Norway).

Event 2: Getting to Strong Climate Policies: Politics, Theory, and Global Lessons

Sustainable Prosperity presents three prominent academics and three political leaders (former Premier of Quebec, The Hon. Jean Charest, former Finance Minister of Norway, Kristin Halvorsen, and former Environment Minister of France, Brice Lalonde) to discuss how to meet the challenges of enacting strong climate policies —mixing research theory with ‘real-world’ climate politics.

Panel 1: The Politics of Carbon Pricing

Opening Remarks by Nicolas Chapuis, Ambassador of France to Canada

1) Jean Charest, Former Premier of Quebec, Former Federal Minister of Environment
2) Kristin Halvorsen, Former Norwegian Minister of Finance, Director of CICERO
3) Brice Lalonde, Former Minister of the Environment of France, Former Ambassador on Climate Change for France, Founder of the Political Party, Ecology Generation

Composed of former senior politicians, this panel will explore political experiences with carbon pricings strategies. The discussion will focus on the political conditions that led to the adoption of or emerging discussion around carbon pricing policies within each jurisdiction.

Panel 2: The Role and Effectiveness of Carbon Pricing in the Low Carbon Economy

1) Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
2) Michael Mehling, Executive Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
3) Matthew Paterson, Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

Building on the previous political panel discussion, leading academics will explore the role of carbon pricing in the transition to a low carbon economy. They will review current evidence on the effectiveness of carbon taxes in reducing GHG emissions, their economic efficiency, political economy considerations and distributional impacts.