The Pricing Carbon Initiative (PCI) grew out of a three-day retreat in July 2011 in Garrison, New York where fifty leaders from a broad spectrum of national environmental, social justice and business organizations met to seek common ground on the need to price carbon emissions. Prior to this summit, several of us had organized pricing carbon forums in Washington, DC and this conference at Wesleyan University in 2010. Those discussions have continued with PCI now serving as the coordinator of a network of about 300 people representing 80 advocacy groups, conservative and progressive think tanks, and other associations for Chatham House Rule discussions about the policy and politics of pricing carbon emissions.
Over the past 11 years, we have hosted about four half-day or day-long dialogues per year in Washington, DC. Typically with 40 to 60 participants in attendance, we explore how pricing CO2 emissions might be included in broader tax and fiscal reform and attract bipartisan support. Since a number of the parties involved have remained unwilling to publicly acknowledge their interest in pricing carbon, confidentiality has been an important ingredient to the success of these candid and often revealing discussions.
During the pandemic, we adapted by continuing these confidential dialogues in a virtual setting, and added public forums to our repertoire. In our public forums, we co-hosted events featuring lawmakers who shared their thoughts and insights on carbon pricing efforts, and other topical opportunities of interest to our participants.
These dialogues have reflected our growing sense of finding strength and common cause in our diversity. Notwithstanding our differences on some fundamental issues, we focus on pricing carbon mechanisms that we can concur on as politically viable, conducive to tax reform, and effective in containing carbon emissions.