Alumni Conference for the ICAP Summer Schools and Training Courses

Alumni Conference for the ICAP Summer Schools and Training Courses

The ICAP Alumni Conference took place from 22 to 24 March 2023. For future editions and upcoming events, register your interest here.

The International Carbon Action Partnership welcomed climate policy professionals for its first ever Alumni Conference. The event brought together selected alumni from more than 20 summer schools and training courses on emissions trading implemented since 2009. The three-day conference took place in Berlin, Germany, from 22 to 24 March 2023.


Emissions trading is a market-based instrument for climate change mitigation. The last two decades have seen emissions trading systems (ETS) for greenhouse gas emissions evolve from existing only in theory, to 2023 where 26 systems have entered force worldwide — covering around 17 percent of global emissions. Emissions trading plays a central role in climate policy mixes of a growing number of jurisdictions, with many emerging economies and developing countries taking steps towards developing such systems and increasing global emissions coverage.

Since 2009, training and capacity building for participants from emerging economies and developing countries have been a core part of the work by the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP). In more than 20 summer schools, regional training courses, ETS masterclasses and other formats, participants have received in-depth training to design and implement emissions trading systems as a tool for climate mitigation.

The Alumni Conference brought together a selection of alumni to share their practical experiences and lessons learned in implementing carbon pricing in emerging economies and developing countries in the last 14 years.

Target group and eligibility criteria

Applicants were accepted from alumni (i.e. participants in a previous course) of the ICAP training and capacity building activities (online or in-person) with a duration of five days or more. They must be current residents and nationals of emerging economies and other developing countries.

The Alumni Conference was participatory in nature and all attendees were expected to actively contribute. As part of the application process, applicants were asked to provide the following details:

  • Which ICAP training or capacity building activity they participated in
  • Describe the work they have done in the field of ETS and carbon pricing since completing the previous ICAP course
  • Describe one topic, lesson learned or experience on which they would like to present to the Alumni Conference

Participation in the Alumni Conference was determined through a competitive selection process based on defined criteria that aim for a balanced mixture of professional backgrounds, gender and nationalities. Priority – especially for in-person attendance – was given to applicants that have been actively working in the field of ETS and carbon pricing.

Format and Content

The objective of the ICAP Alumni Conference was to share experiences and discuss how emissions trading systems can best be tailored to the specific circumstances and perspectives of emerging economies and developing countries. The conference agenda was shaped primarily by the experiences of the participants, as well as their preferred presentation topic as described in their application form. These topics included:

  • Practical challenges of setting up administrative systems and legal frameworks to implement ETS, and how to address them
  • How to successfully navigate the politics of ETS implementation, e.g. balancing countervailing interests, engaging stakeholders, communicating effectively, building supportive political coalitions
  • Adapting ETSs to suit local conditions, e.g regulated power markets or hybrid tax-ETS models
  • What role analysis – e.g. impact assessments, economic modelling – has played in informing ETS design and building support

Based on the information provided in participants’ applications, the organisers developed an agenda reflecting participants’ interests and experiences, clustered into broad topics. In advance of the Alumni Conference, participants were invited to take part in particular sessions, which took different formats (for example, presentation sessions, panel discussions, break-out groups).

Over the three days, the conference programme consisted of three blocks of two hours each:

  • A morning session (in-person participants and remote participants from Asia, Africa and Europe),
  • A midday session (everyone) and
  • An afternoon session (in-person participants and remote participants).

Since networking and informal exchange is a core goal of the conference, opportunities for interaction were interspersed throughout the programme, including social activities. The programme was driven by participant inputs.


Contributions to the programme primarily came from the participants themselves, facilitated by the conference hosts (Michael Mehling and Benjamin Görlach, as well as the ICAP Secretariat). In addition, the programme also featured selected speakers from ICAP member jurisdictions.

Logistical Arrangements

The ICAP Alumni Conference took place from 22 to 24 March 2023 in Berlin, Germany. For eligible in-person participants, the organisers covered travel expenses, accommodation, catering and local transportation.

This training is implemented by the Ecologic Institute and Get2c on behalf of ICAP, the International Carbon Action Partnership. It is made possible through the generous support of the European Commission.



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The ICAP Alumni Conference took place from 22 to 24 March 2023 in Berlin, Germany. For future editions and upcoming events, register your interest here.

Group Photo