“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau Unfortunately for Thoreau, humans did conquer the skies, and aviation is now a significant contributor to climate change, contributing more CO2 to the atmosphere in 2014 than the combined emissions of the 129 lowest emitting countries[i]. …
While European policymakers are debating how the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) should be revised in the wake of the Paris agreement, the fall in the carbon price to below €6 per tonne of pollution gives a stark warning that Europe’s (supposedly) main climate instrument is not yet up to the job. Without the removal of surplus pollution permits, the adoption of a steeper decarbonisation pathway and the smart use of auctioning revenues, Europe’s carbon market will be doomed to fail.
During the Paris negotiations in December publication of Carbon Market Watch’s policy brief revealed that long-term success of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) depends on having clear guidelines on stakeholder consultations, oversight of sustainable development impacts and sector-specific environmental criteria. The strategic plan for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the NAMA Facility revision process are crucial opportunities to acknowledge these success factors.
In January, negotiations between the EU and Switzerland to link their carbon markets were concluded after 5 years of talks. Since the linking agreement has not (yet) been made publicly available, the consequences for Europe’s climate ambition remain unclear, including how it may impact the domestic nature of the EU’s 2030 climate target.