Structuring Effective Carbon Markets (809B)

This policy lab project builds on Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center (STC) and Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) research and analysis on structuring effective carbon markets. It leverages related work and resources on campus, and engages with clients in the US government working to design effective US and International carbon markets. Steyer-Taylor Center and Sustainable Finance Initiative researchers have identified five key pieces to structuring effective carbon markets:

  1. Carbon accounting for liabilities and assets in compliance and non-compliance markets;
  2. Scientific measurement issues covering quantity, duration and budgets;
  3. Property rights, mineral rights and legal issues underlying transactions;
  4. Market structure, securities, capital structures and trading infrastructure; and
  5. Regulation and the role of government actors.

Students will work in small teams to help develop this vision for coordinated carbon markets by researching and writing (1) a series of position papers covering the five topics listed above (a top-down approach); and (2) case studies of specific transactions (a bottom-up approach). Policy lab students may contribute generally to papers on the five topics or they may develop a case study on a specific transaction. The project seeks graduate and upper-division students from law, public policy, economics, finance, environmental science, and the Graduate School of Business. Please email your questions to instructor Alicia Seiger (

Elements used in grading: Attendance, Performance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper.

CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available at See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.

Course Catalogue
Consent of Instructor – Application Portal


Thomas Heller 1

Thomas C. Heller

  • Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor of International Legal Studies, Emeritus
  • Faculty Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
Alicia Seiger 1

Alicia Seiger

  • Managing Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
  • Managing Director, Precourt Sustainable Finance Initiative
  • Lecturer in Law

This Policy Lab project (Heller, Roston, Seiger, LAW 809B) builds on Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center (STC) and Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) research and analysis on structuring effective carbon markets. For their final project, small teams of students helped develop a vision for coordinated carbon markets. Watch the video above or click the links below to view students’ final presentations.