California’s Cap-and-Trade Law – What You Need to Know: Online, Oct. 29

by September 6, 2012

The Particulars

When: Noon or 4 p.m. ET
Oct. 29, 2012

Where: Online

Instructor: Matthew Kahn,
UCLA economist

Society of Environmental


The smokestacks of the Moss Landing Power Plant in California were photographed by flickr user *~Dawn~*.


California’s cap-and-trade program to limit carbon emissions economy-wide kicks into high gear next year, and the first auction of greenhouse gas allowances is set for Nov. 14, 2012.

If you cover business or the environment, tune in Oct. 29 for this informative, hourlong webinar with UCLA economist Matthew Kahn on what you need to know about this new initiative, part of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32, or AB 32).

Once under way, California’s carbon market will be the second-largest in the world, behind the European Union’s, according to Mother Jones, which offers this diagram explaining the process of carbon trading.

The Natural Resources Defense Council offers this explanation:

“The program sets a ‘cap’ on the aggregate emissions from the state’s largest emitters but does not dictate specific reduction requirements on any one emitter, allowing them flexibility to buy and sell (‘trade’) pollution credits, known as ‘allowances,’ at quarterly auctions or on the market in order to comply.

Each year the cap declines, meaning there are fewer allowance available (not unlike musical chairs), and industry must reduce emissions or pay increasingly higher prices for allowances to account for their carbon” emissions.

Mother Jones' Carbon Cap-and-Trade Explained in 1 Simple Diagram

This excerpt is from a diagram explaining carbon trading by James West at


  • Winners and losers: Among those participating in the trading program, which industries have the most to gain, or lose?
  • What can we learn from the implementation of similar laws elsewhere about where likely stories will surface?
  • What stories should journalists be watching for?


This webinar is for any journalist covering business or the environment, especially those in California. No previous knowledge of carbon markets is assumed.

Matthew E. Kahn


Matthew E. Kahn is that rarest of all beasts – an economist with a sense of humor. He is a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics and the Department of Public Policy. A Luskin Scholar, Kahn regularly contributes to the Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times on topics including the non-organic Egg McMuffin and a cost/benefit of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act.

He is the author of Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future. His blog,, was named in 2009 by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 25 blogs of its kind. With a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, Kahn taught at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford and Tufts University before joining UCLA’s faculty in 2007.


This webinar is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, in partnership with the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Those who attend three of the Reynolds Center’s training events are eligible to receive a Circle of Achievement certificate.

If you have any questions about the center’s training, please call 602-496-9187.