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EMA Market Principles Committee Releases Position Paper on

Carbon Taxes v. Carbon Markets 

Why well-designed carbon markets are a superior environmental and economic policy for reducing carbon emissions.

[October 18, 2021 – Washington, DC] - The Market Principles Committee of The Environmental Markets Association (EMA) announced the release of their latest position paper in response to the growing discussion around Carbon Taxes.The Market Principles Committee of The Environmental Markets Association (EMA) announced the release of their latest position paper in response to the growing discussion around Carbon Taxes. The article co-authored by Christian Hofer of Sol Systems, Ryan Andre of C-Quest Capital, and Ken Nelson of Blue Delta Energy outlines and describes the advantages of carbon markets over carbon taxes as a market-based policy mechanism for reducing carbon emissions.

As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes in this world." During the Earth's climate crisis and the beginning of what scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction of biodiversity, failure to solve the problem of excess greenhouse gas emissions ("carbon emissions") will certainly lead to more of the former.  But does humanity's attempt to reduce carbon emissions need to result in the latter? 

"The EMA Market Principles Committee is pleased to release this article discussing the advantages of carbon markets," said Christian Hofer, Chair of The Market Principles Committee. "Thoughtful market design is a critical aspect of successful market-based solutions. We hope that this article increases awareness and encourages more debate about the types of economic and environmental policies that the world is pursuing to solve the problem of climate change."

Click here to read: "Carbon Taxes v. Carbon Markets: The Easy or the Right Way?

EMA strongly supports the utilization of markets to achieve environmental policy goals. Well-designed markets yield many benefits, including, but not limited to, transparent price signals determined through competition, risk mitigation opportunities, incentives for technological innovation, efficient allocation of capital and resources, investor certainty, and ratepayer protection.  To that end, EMA endorses the following principles for meeting environmental policy goals through market-based programs:

•       Tradeable Products

•       Market-Based Pricing 

•       Market Design that Fosters Transparency, Competition, and Liquidity

•       Market Oversight 

•       Market Integrity and Stability

Click here to learn more about EMA's Market Principles.


EMA's Market Principles Committee focuses on identifying and advancing market-based principles adopted by EMA through developing and disseminating educational resources and informational toolkits for EMA members and environmental market stakeholders.


EMA is a 25-year-old pro-environment, pro-business, and pro-competitive markets industry trade association.  Its mission is to promote open, competitive, and tradable market-based solutions to solve environmental challenges using environmental commodities and financial instruments while simultaneously supporting sustainable economic development.  The EMA does this through education, advocacy, and networking opportunities for its members and the public.  Join us today at


ABOUT CHRISTIAN HOFER, LEAD AUTHOR – Mr. Hofer is an EMA Board of Director and serves as Chair of the Market Principles Committee, which aims to increase awareness about the advantages of market-based solutions for achieving sustainable development.  He is a Senior Director of Trading at Sol Systems, a leading renewable energy infrastructure developer in North America.  Prior to his role at Sol Systems, he led corporate development for Skystream Markets, a firm dedicated to building environmental commodity trading platforms.  Mr. Hofer has over a decade of experience transacting in environmental and capital markets. He holds a BS in Finance from the University of Connecticut School of Business, where he also published an economic thesis on the use of carbon offsets for implementing reforestation.


ABOUT RYAN ANDRE, CO-AUTHOR – Mr. Andre is Deputy General Counsel at C-Quest Capital, a social impact project developer headquartered in Washington, D.C., utilizing carbon finance to provide access to clean energy technologies in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the health and welfare of those in need.  Mr. Andre's background is in domestic and international environmental law and policy.  Prior to his work with C-Quest Capital, Mr. Andre worked in private practice supporting and advising clean-tech companies on a diverse set of business and regulatory issues, including environmental markets, biofuels, renewable energy generation, and advanced recycling.  He has a master's degree in environmental policy from Cambridge University and a juris doctor from Vermont Law School. 


ABOUT KEN NELSON, PEER REVIEWER AND CONTENT CONTRIBUTOR – Mr. Nelson is an EMA Board of Director and serves as Chair of the Policy Advocacy Committee, which serves as the clearing house for identifying, reviewing, and approving any action on policy matters as it pertains to local, regional, state and federal policy that impacts EMA and its members.  He is the co-founder and president of Blue Delta Energy, a firm that engages across the many environmental markets and advocates for policy frameworks to ensure its clients achieve their clean energy and emission reduction goals. He has traded the North American energy and environmental markets since 1989 and has extensive experience in power, transmission congestion, capacity, propane, natural gas, biofuels, RECs, energy efficiency credits, RINs, LCFS credits, carbon allowances and carbon offsets.  Prior to co-founding Blue Delta, Mr. Nelson led the renewables desk at Element Markets. He has also worked at Sempra Energy Solutions, Citigroup, TransAlta, Dynegy, PG&E Energy Trading, and Texaco. He holds a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana and an MBA in Finance and Business from the University of Houston.


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