COP24: Real facts or just dreams

Over the next two weeks more than 22,000 people – including parties, observers, and journalists will arrive to in the little mining city of Katowice (Poland). Guests will be welcomed not only by delicious pierogi (typical Polish dish) and cold temperatures, but above all by a crisp and exhilarating atmosphere. As the eyes of the world look towards COP24, many regard this UNFCCC sessions as one of the most important ones since Paris COP21 in 2015, as negotiators aim to hammer out a rulebook for the Paris Agreement.

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming speaks clearly: There is NO more time to waste! Either all Countries will cooperate toward achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, or humanity will be mousetrapped. Based on the IPCC ultimatum, the real question is: will governments be able to put aside political adversities to pursue domestic mitigation measures to the best of their abilities reflecting their national circumstances, while promoting sustainable development and environmental integrity?

The floor is open for discussions, compromises and hopefully, agreement. One of the thorniest topics is going to be the role carbon markets will play in keeping global temperatures at maximum 1.5 C. In fact, 70 of the 300+ pages of the draft negotiating text relate to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Intense debates among  Parties, specifically about market provisions under Article 6.2 and 6.4, are likely to happen over the coming weeks. Stay tuned as Carbon Market Watch will be following developments throughout!

Yesterday, at our first official side event at COP “Transitioning to a new era of flexible mechanism for increased ambition” (video link here), we outlined our three advocacy priorities to design fair and effective carbon markets:

  • Phasing out the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to make way for new effective climate measures under the Paris Agreement; (link to campaign)
  • Avoid double-counting through transparency measures and robust accounting to avoid watering down the Paris Agreement; (link of recommendations)
  • Adopt a set of robust social and environmental safeguards to contribute to the avoidance of negative impacts at the local level.  This requires as a minimum a clear set of rules for conducting local stakeholder consultations prior to the implementation of any projects under Article 6, as well as a grievance mechanism ruled by an independent body.  (link of recommendations)

Everything could happen during the negotiations in these two weeks, but at the end those who will be affected by the final outcomes, are us: humanity and our planet.

We all have the extraordinary opportunity to change our future, and the environment we inhabit.

Negotiators have the power to make a real difference, and perhaps looking back in a couple of years they will be proud of the decisions taken to protect people and our planet. 

#EndtheCDM Campaign (Twitter link)!

On the 4th December 2018, we sent our Open Letter to UNFCCC Heads of Delegations to discontinue the CDM when the Kyoto Protocol period ends in 2020. The letter has been signed by 99 Organizations as well as private citizens all around the world! This is a clear call for robust rules under the Paris Agreement to deliver the rapid change needed to avoid the climate catastrophe! (Open Letter link)