The UN’s annual climate talks this year held in Bonn Germany saw moderate progress on implementing the Paris Agreement. However, critical questions on the functioning of future carbon markets remain wide open, making it impossible to assess if they will contribute to the fight against climate change. Meanwhile, the UN’s aviation body is drafting rules for its offsetting scheme CORSIA. A careful design of the rules through a transparent process in close coordination with the UNFCCC is necessary to prevent CORSIA from undermining the Paris Agreement.
In October, the private lending arm of the World Bank Group confirmed that the CDM project Santa Rita in Guatemala had been cancelled. The hydro dam project saw violent clashes between the project developer and local affected communities from its beginning in 2010. Serious shortcomings in the project planning underline the need for safeguards to ensure that future climate mitigation actions protect human rights.
After two years of talks, the European Union agreed on the revision of its emissions trading scheme for the 2021-2030 period, but the parties failed to adopt robust rules that would avoid continued coal subsidies from Europe’s key climate tool over the next decade. The EU also signed a historical agreement to link its carbon market with that of Switzerland’s. Linking brings economic benefits, but it also carries environmental risks. Transparency and public input are paramount to ensure that future linking agreements do not water down climate ambition.
Carbon Market Watch
– UN carbon markets: Have we exchanged enough views already?
– Swiss-European carbon market link: An omen for future ties?
– Closing a chapter: Santa Rita hydro dam project officially cancelled
– Will Europe’s key climate tool become a fossil fuel subsidy scheme?
– Obscure aviation climate deal could undermine Paris Agreement (press release)
– Failure to align EU ETS with Paris adds pressure on governments (press release)
– Markets must increase climate ambition – priorities for COP23 (press release)