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SB42 – Bonn Negotiation

 Carbon Market Watch will be closely following the UNFCCC negotiations from Bonn, Germany.

The Bonn UNFCCC session kicks off real negotiations on the text agreed in Geneva in February. Those elements of the text that are agreed by Parties will become parts of the Paris Protocol, which should be completed in December this year.

The main aim of the Bonn conference will need to streamline the Geneva text to a manageable and negotiable size. Parties will need to show flexibility on wording so that similar concepts can be unified. Bilateral cooperation between groups of similar positions to agree new language will be an important part of the process.

UNEP estimates the remaining carbon budget to keep global average temperature increases below 2ºC to be only1000 GtCO2e, and at current rates of emissions, this budget will have been spent in the mid-2030s. This means that there is very little room for offsetting, some room for emissions trading under caps, but that the focus of development and infrastructure investment needs to be on zero/ low carbon options. Carbon markets can be useful tools to put a price on carbon pollution. They can promote investments in climate friendly technologies and reward companies that produce more efficiently. However, while carbon markets are often seen as a cost-efficient means to reduce emissions, they may also cause greater expense in the longer term, through allowing locking in of high carbon infrastructure that will need to be replaced before the end of its lifetime. For this reason, the linking of carbon markets and in particular the transfer of international emission units should not be seen as a substitute for domestic action – in all countries and all sectors – to reduce emissions as rapidly as possible.

With this in mind, Carbon Market Watch recommends to advance negotiations on the following key issues:

  • An overarching accounting framework to avoid double counting and undermining of climate targets
  • Participation requirements in carbon markets under the framework for various approaches
  • Clarity on the future of the CDM as a tool to contribute to domestic climate action in developing countries
  • The need for social and environmental accountability for all climate action, including the establishment of a CDM grievance mechanism under the SBI process

Briefing paper:

  • Carbon Market Watch expectations for the UNFCCC session in Bonn June 2015 related to the role of carbon markets in the Paris Agreement – Read here

  • Views on the use of carbon markets under a post-2020 climate deal – Read here

  • Recommendations For The Review Of The Modalities And Procedures For The Clean Development Mechanism – Read here

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