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Briefings
14 Jun 2019

Carbon markets 101 – the ultimate guide to global offsetting mechanisms

Introduction This briefing gives an overview of the current discussions under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement which establishes the foundation for market-based climate measures after 2020. It lays out key lessons from the Kyoto Protocol markets, highlights essential issues within the Article 6 negotiations, and provides recommendations on how to solve them. It concludes…

Briefings
29 Oct 2018

The Clean Development Mechanism: Local Impacts of a Global System

Executive Summary The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to allow developed countries to buy emissions reductions from developing countries in the form of credits, called Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). The objectives of the CDM are to help developed countries achieve their climate commitment and to assist developing countries in achieving sustainable…

Briefings
22 Dec 2015

Paris outcomes: Carbon Market Watch Analysis of COP 21

From 30 November to 12 December 2015, Parties to the UNFCCC met in Paris to negotiate a new global climate treaty.

The Paris Agreement was a remarkable outcome, especially after the failures of Copenhagen. Almost all involved, including Carbon Market Watch, seemed surprised at how positive the outcome was. However, expectations had been carefully managed in the preceding years, so that aspirations of environmentalists to have a treaty that reflected the scientific reality by dividing up the remaining global carbon budget, had been downplayed into unreality.

Briefings
30 Nov 2015

Report: Using nature to pardon environmental pollution – Risks of agriculture sequestration carbon offsets

Agriculture supports the livelihoods of around a half of the world’s population, but is at the same time a notable source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) driving climate change. As of one the options to tackle emissions in the sector, governments have been discussing to include additional agricultural activities into the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) since 2011. Whether agricultural activities should be eligible for carbon offsetting programmes is not only topical within discussions in the UNFCCC but also within certain regional cap-and-trade schemes and discussions to establish a market based mechanism for international aviation emissions, expected to be adopted in October 2016 under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Briefings
30 Nov 2015

Policy Brief: Fossil and biological carbon: a tonne is not a tonne

Whether biological carbon credit should be traded in carbon markets is topical, with discussions ongoing in the UNFCCC, ICAO and the California Cap-and-Trade system. To date, compliance markets have rejected the eligibility of biological carbon offsets. They are right to do so. Fossil and biological carbon operate on different parts of the carbon cycle, and on very different timescales. Fossil carbon is permanent; biological carbon is potentially and frequently subject to rapid fluxes, whether natural or manmade. For these reasons, offset credits from REDD+, afforestation and reforestation or other biological systems should not be treated as fungible with fossil carbon, but should instead be addressed through other, appropriate, policy measures.

Briefings
20 Nov 2015

Recommendations related to the role of carbon markets in the Paris Agreement

Only very few countries have outlined in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that they will use international trading as a means to help achieve their climate goals. However, despite the limited role of markets expressed by most industrialised countries in their INDCs, such as the EU and the US, the political reality regarding domestic carbon pricing schemes looks different: jurisdictions responsible for 40% of the global economy have already implemented carbon pricing mechanisms.

Briefings
1 Sep 2015

Policy Brief: Social and environmental accountability of climate finance instruments

Climate change is a global injustice to present and future generations, and one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. For one, climate change has a significant effect on several human rights, such as the right to safe and adequate water and food, the right to health and adequate housing, and the right to life. On the other hand, certain actions to address climate change can directly result in adverse impacts on human rights.

Briefings
17 Mar 2015

Fact Sheet – Santa Rita, CDM Hydro Dam in Guatemala

ENGLISH The Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant in the Dolores River in the Alta Verapaz region in Guatemala was registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in June 2014. The communities living in the Alta Verapaz region are completely dependent on the water of the river for their livelihoods. The Guatemalan Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples…

Briefings
20 Feb 2015

The Geneva Pledge for Human Rights in Climate Action

We, the undersigned, note that climate change-related impacts have a range of implications, both direct and indirect, for the effective enjoyment of human rights, and recognize that while these implications affect individuals and communities around the world, the effects of climate change will be felt most acutely by those segments of the population who are already in vulnerable situations owing to factors such as geography, poverty, gender, age, indigenous or minority status and disability.

Briefings
9 Feb 2015

Local realities of CDM projects A compilation of case studies

Content Sasan coal power project, India Adani’s Mundra coal power project, India The Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Power Plant Project, Panama The Chengdu Luodai MSW Incinerator, China The small scale Kukke Hydro Project, India Small hydroelectric dam Aurora I, Honduras The Palo Viejo Hydroelectric Project, Guatemala