Mitigation measures take centre stage in Geneva

UNGeneva

At the UN climate negotiations in Geneva yesterday, the section of the Paris agreement on mitigation was discussed. A number of proposals on carbon markets and carbon accounting were put forward into the text by several individual countries and country negotiating-groups. The draft text of the mitigation section, available here, was released at 1500 Geneva time today.

Here is a summary of those proposals (all can be found in paragraph 23):

  • Panama put forward option 1, which addresses transfers of mitigation outcomes (UN speak for allowances/offsets), and that units from UNFCCC and non-UNFCCC mechanisms can be used to meet commitments under the agreement;
  • The EU put forward option 2, which highlights the ability for countries to use mitigation outcomes from other countries to meet their commitments, and that the rules and procedures for this should be defined by 2016;
  • New Zealand put forward option 3, which addresses accounting and provisions for market mechanisms for the land-use sector;
  • Brazil put forward option 4 with an emissions trading system for countries that take quantified economy-wide absolute targets as well as an enhanced CDM (CDM+);
  • Switzerland, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Monaco and Liechtenstein (Environmental Integrity Group, orEIG) put forward option 5, which addresses transfers of mitigation commitments, avoidance of double counting, and institutional arrangements for market mechanisms.

The EIG’s full proposal to the ADP, which addresses accounting and environmental standards on international transfers of mitigation outcomes is quite detailed and thought through. Those interested can view the full proposal on the UNFCCC website here.

While these are positive developments, of course there were also countries opposed to this type of language appearing in the agreement. Bolivia on behalf of the ALBA country group opposed any reference to markets in the Agreement, and Argentina on behalf of the Like Minded Developing Countries group was opposed to most of the proposed content from paragraph 23.

All Parties, however, support provisions to help avoid double counting in the agreement – key to preserving environmental integrity.

Jeff Swartz, IETA

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