Reap what you sow: participation in a global carbon market should be limited to countries with ambitious climate targets

The role of future carbon markets will rank high on the agenda in Lima. Against the insufficient climate action pledges that have been made so far, a key issue in Lima will be to establish participation criteria that will only allow those countries with a mitigation target in line with the 2°C target to participate in international carbon markets.

Current CDM projects are not fit for results based finance

The future role of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the 2015 climate treaty is likely to be very limited. CDM advocates have therefore started to look beyond traditional funds for offsets and are now eyeing at climate finance. However, the CDM in its current state does not provide environmental and social standards needed for climate action.

To be or not to be: Is the EU’s 2030 climate pledge enough to participate in international carbon markets?

In October 2014 EU leaders agreed to at least 40% binding domestic greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 compared to 1990. This significant move away from allowing the use of international offsets also puts into question the EU’s plans to link up carbon markets under a new climate treaty. Experience from the EU’s carbon market shows why international eligibility criteria for participation in the global carbon market are needed.

Keeping the books on emission units

Accounting of emissions will be a cornerstone of a future climate treaty and is hugely important for the integrity of carbon markets as well as keeping us on track to limit global warming below 2°C. Lima will need to lay grounds for a rigorous accounting framework and robust unit quality requirements. It will also need to establish consistency to the ICAO process that is developing a global market based mechanism for aviation emissions.

International human rights day adds pressure to implement safeguards in carbon markets

At the occasion of the international human rights day on 10 December 2014, the need to protect human rights in all climate actions will be high up on the agenda in Lima. The clock is ticking for delegates to put in place a robust institutional safeguards system for existing and new carbon markets to protect the people most vulnerable to climate change.

NOT SMART: climate smart agriculture in carbon markets

Proposals to include forests and land use activities in existing and new carbon markets will be discussed in Lima. But sequestration of carbon in land cannot compensate for continued fossil fuel emissions – fossil fuel emissions are permanent, whereas storing carbon in forests and soils is temporary and can be easily reversed by cutting down trees and ploughing fields.