Its Brussels-based team combines detailed knowledge of policy issues with close connections to community groups operating worldwide. The goal: to ensure that carbon pricing policies progress on a pathway toward zero-carbon societies. Carbon Market Watch does this by engaging in advocacy and by helping empower communities to participate in the decision-making processes that shape climate policies.
Carbon Market Watch was founded in Austria and has been present on the Brussels EU policy scene since 2009, explains Léa Teheux, the person responsible for the organisation’s finance and HR matters. She says that Brussels was a natural choice as it is home to key climate change players and the EU bodies responsible for crafting European policies on environment, climate and sustainable development.
‘’All decision-makers and civil society partners are represented in Brussels,’’ she says. ’’So we need to be here at the center of the action. There’s a rich community of experts from institutions, think tanks, NGOs, and foundations, all focusing on climate change issues. In Brussels we are part of this community.’’
Even though the climate advocacy world is in a web of digital communications, with daily links between hundreds of civil society groups and advocates located across Europe, Léa says that it’s difficult to replace the impact of face-to-face engagement – with partner and legislators. ‘’That’s why we’re here.’’
Looking at the Carbon Market Watch team, who come from six different countries, she notes the ease of living in Brussels as a plus for attracting young professionals. And many are here to stay. As team members move on from their work at Carbon Market Watch to progress in their careers, it seems that the majority don’t return to their home country – they prefer to stay in Brussels, she says.