Public Workshop: Developing Industrial Benchmarks

Co-hosts: International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) and North America 2050 (NA2050)

Format: One day public workshop in New York City with presentations and participation from ICAP and NA2050 representatives and from selected experts from various backgrounds (academia, nonprofit, industry). Presentations will be followed by open discussions among the participants. About 60 attendees are expected.

Location: Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038

Invitees:    ICAP members; NA2050 members; government officials from U.S. states and Canadian provinces; officials from the U.S. and Canadian federal governments; industry representatives; representatives from the nongovernmental sector and academia; any other interested party. The workshop will be open to the public.


  • Explore approaches to developing industrial energy or greenhouse gas emissions benchmarks that could inform either allowances allocation under a GHG cap and trade program, performance-based GHG regulations or voluntary programs;
  • Gain understanding of current approaches to industry benchmarking, including those being implemented in the EU, California and elsewhere;
  • Examine international best practices to identify appropriate sectors with which to begin benchmarking and how to design benchmarks;
  • Identify benefits of coordinating benchmarking approaches;
  • Foster broader communication and collaboration on energy and climate policy; and
  • Identify possible next steps for continued collaboration between NA2050 and ICAP.


Session 1: The Context/Rationale for Benchmarking
Provide context for benchmarking, the role of benchmarking in ICAP and NA2050 jurisdictions, and reasons for benchmark use. Identify key elements for defining benchmarks, how benchmarking has been used in the past, and prospects for the future.

Session 2: Existing and Innovative Approaches to Benchmarking Policy around the World
Focus on benchmark policymaking. Provide an overview of the global status of benchmarking, while exploring similarities and differences among existing programs. Discuss reasoning behind use of benchmarking and compare to alternatives.

Session 3: Constructing Benchmarks
Focus on the technical aspects of benchmark construction and implementation. Present the general approach to elaborating benchmarks. Illustrate steps in establishing benchmarks and what factors go into these decisions in selected industry sectors, both from the regulator and industry perspective. Discuss what has worked well and where there are opportunities for improvement, and highlight similarities and differences among existing programs and why these differences exist.

Session 4: Implementation Challenges and Lessons Learned
Reflect on the challenges in the implementation of benchmarks and on lessons learned, both from the regulator and industry perspective. Discuss the benefits arising from benchmarking programs and how industries have changed their practices.

Session 5: Conclusions and Outlook