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We look forward to the opening session and three keynote sessions. For information about the five parallel sessions hosting 16 panels, please visit the Program page.


Plenary Sessions Overview

  • Thursday, September 24, 13:00 (CEST)—Welcome and Opening Events

    Kreiser Award for Environmental Taxation

  • Thursday, September 24, 14:00 (CEST)—Keynote Panel:

    Environmental Taxation in an Era of COVID-19

  • Friday, September 25, 10:00 (CEST)—Plenary Keynote Session:

    Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Carbon Pricing: A Quantitative Assessment

    Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation: The Editor and the Publisher

    Young Research's Award

  • Friday, September 25, 15:00 (CEST)—Keynote Panel:

    The Fate of Canada’s Carbon Pricing Framework: In the Hands of the Supreme Court of Canada

  • Friday, September 25, 16:30 (CEST)—Closing Remarks

            Announcement of GCET22

            Conference Chairs' Closing Remarks

Thursday, September 24, 13:00 (CEST)
Global Welcome and Opening Events

GCET21 starts with a 45-minute opening reception. Two of the Conference Chairs, Janet Milne and Mikael Skou Andersen will extend their welcome to delegates from six continents. Delegates will have an opportunity to have a spontaneous global interaction to greet each other. The Kreiser Award for Environmental Taxation will be presented to this year’s recipient, Susanne Åkerfeldt, who will share her observations about environmental taxation. Please see here for information about the Kreiser Award.

Susanne Åkerfeldt headshotSusanne Åkerfeldt
Senior Advisor, Ministry of Finance
Stockholm, Sweden

Susanne Åkerfeldt has more than 25 years’ of governmental experience in managing projects on energy and environmental policy design. Her key focus has been to ensure the use of cost-efficient policy measures on the road towards a sustainable, low-carbon and resource-efficient society. She has been instrumental in fine-tuning the design of the Swedish carbon tax since the 1990s as well as pursuing green tax reforms. Her current projects include the legal and practical feasibility of introducing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism in the EU as an effective tool to avoid carbon leakage as well as securing EU state aid approvals of certain Swedish aid schemes compensating companies exposed to large turnover declines due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Susanne serves as Sweden’s lead EU negotiator on energy and climate taxation issues and has worked extensively to improve and coordinate the design of EU tax and state aid legislation to better reflect the Polluter Pays Principle and to encourage Member States to use environmental taxes. She is engaged in global climate policy within the framework of the UN, with a focus on creating better policies for emerging and developing economies, as well as within the World Bank Group’s Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. She is an expert member of the Subcommittee of Environmental Tax Issues under the UN Tax Committee and a lead drafter of core chapters in a forthcoming handbook on carbon taxation.

Susanne has a LL.M. from the University of Uppsala and followed the standard Swedish step-by-step judicial career within the general court system before her career at the Ministry of Finance.


Thursday, September 24, 14:00 (CEST)
Environmental Taxation in an Era of COVID-19

Alice Pirlot, University of Oxford, United Kingdom [Download Powerpoint]
Alberto Majocchi, University of Pavia, Italy [Download Powerpoint]
Jonas Teusch, OECD, France [Download Powerpoint]
Session Chairs Janet Milne and Mikael Skou Andersen

This 60-minute session will address the main theme of GCET21, Environmental Taxation in an Age of COVID-19. COVID-19 has shaken the globe in profound ways and what seemed predictable at the beginning of this year has been turned on its head! The COVID-19 crisis seems to have become a game changer for our societies. This opening plenary panel focuses on recent developments in Europe, with the Green Deal agreed in July by the European Council of Heads of States. €750 billion will be made available to support some of the most affected Member States, while the EU will be embarking on new green taxes for the financing. Besides a levy on non-recycled plastic, the European Commission is preparing a proposal for a carbon border adjustment mechanism – effectively a climate toll on certain imports from countries without carbon pricing.

The panel features experts from Italy, Oxford and OECD who will provide from various perspectives a coherent appraisal of the implications and dynamics of these ongoing developments. It is logical to consider the Green Deal from the perspective of Italy, where the pandemic first caught ground in Europe, and where implications for health and the economy have been among the most profound. Moving on from here to a legislative perspective, the panel will address the legal challenges likely to be encountered in developing the announced taxes in the context of EU without violating WTO rules. These issues are tied in with a challenging political economy of competitiveness concerns and industry rivalry in a world of asymmetric climate action. This leads the panel to consider the substantive question of how best to use carbon pricing as part a sustainable economic recovery despite the challenging circumstances during and after the pandemic. The central question is how well the Green Deal will be able to survive on its way from announcement to full-scale implementation.


Alberto Majocchi
Emeritus Professor Public Finance
University of Pavia, Italy

Alberto Majocchi is Emeritus Professor of Public Finance at the University of Pavia. Previously, he has been at the University of Venezia-Ca' Foscari, Varese, Castellanza and, in 1992-93, at the University of Leuven (Belgium). He has been Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge and York in the UK. In 1991-93 Prof. Majocchi worked as a National Expert at the Environment Directorate of the European Commission in Brussels; in 1995 Economic Advisor of the Ministry of the Environment in Rome. From 2003 to 2010 he is President of the Institute for Studies and Economic Analysis (ISAE) in Rome. He is currently President of the Foundation Magni for Ayamé (Ivory Coast) and Vice-President of the Centre for Studies on Federalism (Turin). Recent books are European Budget and Sustainable Growth. The Role of the Carbon Tax (Peter Lang, Brussels, 2018) and Europe and Africa: A Shared Future (Peter Lang, Brussels, 2020).



Alice Pirlot
Research Fellow
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford, UK

Alice Pirlot is a Research Fellow in Law at the Centre for Business Taxation at the University of Cambridge. Prior to joining the Centre, Alice was a research fellow of the National Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) at the University of Louvain, where she completed her PhD in April 2016. Alice’s main expertise lies at the intersection between tax, environmental, EU and international trade law. Her publications cover a wide range of topics, including environmental border tax adjustments, the taxation of the energy sector, the interactions between tax policy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as the WTO law compatibility of the destination-based cash flow tax. Alice has been awarded various prizes and scholarships, including the InBev-Baillet Latour scholarship, FNRS doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships and grants from the Belgian International Youth Office. She received the Young Researcher Award at the 2013 GCET, organized in Kyoto. In 2017, she received an Honourable Mention of the International Fiscal Association for her work on "Environmental Border Tax Adjustments and International Trade Law."


Jonas Teusch
Paris, France

Jonas Teusch is an economist at the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. Based in the Tax and the Environment Unit of the Tax Policy and Statistics Division, he works on energy taxation, carbon pricing and the assessment of environmental tax reforms. He is the lead author of the OECD report “Taxing Energy Use 2019: Using Taxes for Climate Action.” Jonas is a former researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies” and holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Management from Université Catholique de Louvain & Université de Liège, Belgium, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from McGill University, Canada.


Friday, September 25, 10:00 AM (CEST)
Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Carbon Pricing: A Quantitative Assessment

Simon J. Black, World Bank Group, USA [Download Powerpoint] [View Video]
Session Chair Hope Ashiabor

The health and economic crisis precipitated by COVID-19 is unprecedented. But the need to reduce carbon emissions to address the worst effects of climate change in the long-term remains. The emissions reductions embodied in existing mitigation commitments – such as those of member countries of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action – remain substantial. Simon Black will present the significant and timely results of research he has conducted with Ian Parry at the IMF. Carbon pricing could still make a strong contribution to achieving these reductions while providing a valuable revenue source. Potential revenues are expected to be around 0.3-0.6 percent of GDP for a $25 carbon price in 2021, rising to 0.8-1.2 percent of GDP for a $50 carbon price in 2030. The environmental and fiscal advantages of carbon taxes (or equivalent measures) over most other mitigation instruments remain large in relative terms.

Simon J. Black
Economist--Front Office
Climate Change Group, World Bank Group, Washington, DC USA

Simon J. Black is an economist in the front office of the World Bank’s climate change department. Before joining the WB, he was the UK foreign ministry’s climate economist. He has served on the UK delegation to the UN’s climate negotiations body, helping to shape and deliver the Paris Agreement. Previously, he was a diplomatic service economist, a private sector macroeconomist, and worked in financial sector advisory. He holds a master’s degree in development economics from Harvard University (MPA/ID), where he was a Frank Knox Fellow.


Chaired by GCET21 Co-Chair Hope Ashiabor, this session will also include two other features:

Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation: The Editor and the Publisher

        Theodoros Zachariadis, Cyprus University of Technology, Lead editor of Economic Instruments for a Low-Carbon Future (Critical Issues Vol. XXII)

        Ben Booth, Publisher, Academic Law, Edward Elgar Publishing

Presentation of the GCET Young Researcher Award

Friday, September 25, 15:00 (CEST), 9:00 (EST)
The Fate of Canada's Carbon Pricing Framework: In the Hands of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Nathalie Chalifour, University of Ottawa, Canada, Session Chair
Gareth Morley, British Columbia Ministry of Justice, Canada, Keynote Speaker
Lisa DeMarco, DeMarco Allan LLP, Canada, Panelist
Stewart Elgie, University of Ottawa, Canada, Panelist
Andrew Leach, University of Alberta, Canada, Panelist [Download Powerpoint]

This 90-minute session takes participants into cutting edge litigation that will determine the future of carbon pricing in Canada. The Canadian experience will echo around the globe, just as British Columbia’s carbon tax did when it was enacted in 2008. The session focuses on a case that will be argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on September 22 and September 23, 2020, just days before the GCET 21. The panel features a set of experts on carbon pricing in Canada, including several speakers who are arguing the case before the Court.

Led by action at the provincial level, Canada has now adopted a national carbon pricing scheme. The 2017 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change requires Canadian provinces and territories to put a price on carbon that will reach $50 Canadian per ton in 2022. If a province or territory fails to implement a carbon price that meets the minimum national benchmark, the federal government will impose one as a backstop measure to ensure a national baseline. Several provinces have challenged the legislation implementing the Framework’s carbon pricing, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), on the basis that it infringes their autonomy to manage their natural resources, energy sectors, and industrial activities. The Courts of Appeal for Saskatchewan and Ontario both upheld the constitutionality of the GGPPA, whereas the Court of Appeal for Alberta ruled it unconstitutional.

The central question before the Court is whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to impose minimum national standards for carbon pricing. This panel will discuss the litigation and its implications for carbon pricing in Canada and elsewhere.

Keynote speaker Gareth Morley represents British Columbia in the litigation, the only province arguing in favour of federal jurisdiction for the national carbon pricing framework. He will address key issues in the case, including how the provinces and the federal government share responsibility over GHG emissions.

Panel Chair Nathalie Chalifour represents the joint interveners the National Association of Women and the Law and Friends of the Earth in the case. On the panel, she will introduce the case and its broader context and moderate the discussion.

Panelist Lisa DeMarco brings the perspectives of the International Emissions Trading Association to the Court. During the panel, she will highlight the challenges of intergovernmental dynamics in addressing climate change.

Panelist Stewart Elgie represents Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission before the Court. During GCET21, he will focus on the political backdrop and the case’s ramifications for carbon pricing in Canada.

Panelist Andrew Leach, an environmental economist, is a widely read commentator on environmental economics. He will assess lessons that emerge from the case about how economics and the law interact and speak to Alberta’s unique context.

This litigation will have ripple effects for carbon pricing across Canada and around the globe. Please be sure to attend this session of leading experts covering one of the biggest environmental law cases in Canada of the decade.


Nathalie Chalifour
Full Professor of Law, Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability
Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada


Nathalie Chalifour is a Full Professor with the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, and cross-appointed to the Institute of the Environment. Nathalie was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars in 2018. She obtained her Doctorate of Law at Stanford University, and holds a Master in Juridical Sciences which she obtained as a Stanford Fellow and Fulbright Scholar.

Nathalie’s research lies at the intersection of environment law, economics and social justice, with a focus on climate change. Her most recent articles focus on the constitutionality of climate policies, specifically the division of powers and Charter rights. Nathalie is currently leading a SSHRC-funded project on Environmental Justice in Canadian Law and Policy. She is the co-editor of three international books, including "Energy, Governance and Sustainability" (Edward Elgar, 2016), and a fourth collection on Food Law in Canada (Carswell 2019).


Gareth Morley
Senior Counsel
British Columbia's Ministry of Justice
Victoria, Canada

Gareth Morley is currently Senior Counsel with British Columbia's Ministry of Attorney General, Legal Services Branch. In his 21 years with the Ministry of Attorney General, he has been a litigator, legislative drafter and constitutional solicitor. He is currently representing British Columbia in the legal challenge to Canada’s carbon pricing framework in support of the constitutionality of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. He has appeared on behalf of the Province at all levels of court and in a number of administrative tribunals. . He is co-editor with Justice Karen Horsman of the B.C. Supreme Court of Government Liability: Law and Practice. He received an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School, his LL.B. the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and a B.A. from the University of Victoria.


Lisa DeMarco
Senior Partner
DeMarco Allan LLP
Toronto, Canada

Lisa DeMarco is recognized as a Canadian and international expert in climate and energy law. She has over two decades of experience in law, regulation, policy and advocacy relating to oil, gas, power and all aspects of climate change. Lisa represents several governments and leading energy companies in a wide variety of natural gas, electricity, pipeline and energy storage matters before various regulatory agencies, including the Ontario and National Energy Boards. Lisa also assists Canadian energy companies and Indigenous business organizations on domestic and overseas power project development, renewable power projects, energy storage projects, sustainable and climate finance transactions, carbon capture and storage, climate-related financial disclosure, corporate climate risk, environmental and social governance, green bonds and sustainable business strategy. Lisa plays an ongoing and active role in the development of energy and GHG emissions law and policy throughout Canada and internationally. Lisa is a member of the boards of directors of the Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS, the International Emissions Trading Association and Carbon Credit Solutions Inc. She is ranked by Chambers Global as one of the world's leading climate change lawyers and regularly attends and advises on related United Nations negotiations.


Stewart Elgie
Professor of Law and Economics, University of Ottawa
Executive Chair, Smart Prosperity Institute
Ottawa, Canada

Stewart Elgie is a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa, and director of the University’s interdisciplinary Environment Institute. He received his Masters of Law from Harvard, and his doctorate (J.S.D.) from Yale. He is also the founder and chair of Smart Prosperity Institute (formerly Sustainable Prosperity), Canada’s premiere green economy think tank and policy-research network. His research involves environmental and economic sustainability, with a particular focus in recent years on market-based approaches.

Elgie started his career as an environmental lawyer in Alaska, litigating over the Valdez oil spill. He returned to Canada and founded Ecojustice, now Canada’s largest non-profit environmental law organization; he was counsel on many precedent setting cases, including four wins in Supreme Court of Canada on constitution and environment issues. He was later hired by Pew Trusts as founding executive director of the multi-stakeholder Canadian Boreal Initiative. Prior to his faculty position at University of Ottawa (2004), Elgie held appointments at several Canadian universities (U.B.C., Alberta, York). He has served on or chaired many advisory bodies in the environment/sustainability area. In 2001, Elgie was awarded the Law Society of Upper Canada medal for exceptional lifetime contributions to law – the youngest man ever to receive the profession’s highest honour.


Andrew Leach
Associate Professor
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada

Andrew Leach is an energy and environmental economist and is Associate Professor at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. His research spans energy and environmental economics with a particular interest in climate change policies. Leach spent the 2019-2020 academic year as an LLM student in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta studying constitutional law and climate change.


Friday, September 25, 16:30 (CEST)
Closing Remarks

Announcement of GCET 22
        Deborah Jarvie, University of Lethbridge, Canada
Conference Chairs' Closing Remarks

This brief session will conclude GCET21 proceedings.  We hope that you will plan ahead for GCET22 in Calgary, Canada in September 2021!