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EU’s plan to link to Swiss carbon market adds pressure to announce an increased climate target

Tomorrow, the EU is expected to announce its climate contributions towards the Paris climate agreement. The expected decision will build on the European Commission’s Road to Paris vision published last week. Hopes are that Ministers take their chances to address a number of critical issues that risk severely undermining the 40% domestic reduction target. They include a clear commitment to increase the 40% target in case of linking the EU’s emissions trading system (EU ETS) with other carbon markets, the way land use emissions are accounted for and the threat the existing surplus of emission allowances pose on the 2030 climate target.

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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.

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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.

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The pitfalls of climate smart mitigation (WT)

Climate Smart Agriculture, a concept promoted as part of a solution to climate change, has been at the heart of international and national debates on agricultural development in recent years. While many stakeholders push to link it to carbon markets, the arguments of inappropriateness of such system are gaining ground.

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