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Briefings
31 Jul 2020

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
7 Jul 2020

Cleaning up industry: why the EU’s strategy isn’t enough yet

Summary The new EU Industrial Strategy, released by the European Commission on 10 March 2020 as part of a larger industrial package, is the first sector-specific plan to be published since the European Green Deal was announced. It is an opportunity to put the EU economy on track towards climate neutrality, and put climate action…

Briefings
31 Mar 2020

Carbon Border Adjustments: Climate Protection or Climate Protectionism?

Pricing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most important tools to decarbonise economies, and it has been implemented in the EU since 2005 through the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). As part of this policy, the heavy industry benefits from large exemptions and receives nearly all of its allowances (i.e. pollution permits) for free….

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
31 Aug 2018

Reconciling CORSIA and the Sustainable Development Mechanism

Executive Summary The Paris Agreement breaks away from the division of “developed” vs. “developing” countries which was enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol. It sets a new dynamic which will inevitably impact the next generation of carbon markets. It further sets new objectives for these mechanisms, such as contributing to overall mitigation of global GHG emissions and…

Briefings
14 Oct 2016

The CORSIA: ICAO’s market based measure and implications for Europe

Executive Summary On October 6th, Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed on an offsetting scheme to compensate for emissions growth from 2020 levels. The new scheme, called the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), falls short of achieving the goal of carbon neutral growth in 2020 (CNG2020), let…

Briefings
24 May 2016

Report: Human Rights implications of climate change mitigation actions, second edition

Executive Summary Countries’ obligations under international human rights law are well established. These include the obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights, which are applicable in the context of climate change. Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognize that they must respect human rights—including procedural rights—in all climate-related actions….

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: Integrating the Sustainable Development Agenda into the 2015 Climate Agreement

The new global Sustainable Development Agenda (Agenda 2030), officially adopted on 25 September 2015 by all United Nations (UN) Member States, has for the first time produced a stand-alone and universal climate goal. This explicitly recognises that the solutions to climate change and sustainable development are inherently interconnected and calls for coordinated efforts to address both simultaneously. From ending poverty and hunger, to addressing health, water and energy insecurity, to protecting oceans, forests and other ecosystems and preventing conflict, addressing climate change is critical to our collective ability to deliver on the SDGs.