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Briefings
30 Jun 2021

Two Shades of Green: How hot air forest credits are being used to avoid carbon taxes in Colombia

Update 1 July: Verra published a statement in response to this report, questioning its findings and accusing it of using flawed methodologies. Our response to Verra is available here. Executive summary The Colombian government adopted a carbon tax of approximately US$5/tCO2e covering fossil fuels in 2016. Companies can avoid paying the tax by purchasing carbon…

Briefings
25 Mar 2021

Sailing towards a global carbon price in the maritime industry?

Introduction Discussions and negotiations on carbon pricing for the international maritime sector are starting to pick up steam again at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This is an opportunity to finally get urgently needed, meaningful global climate regulation for this international sector. The maritime sector is the last emitting sector globally not to be covered…

Briefings
24 Nov 2020

Carbon markets and agriculture – why offsetting is putting us on the wrong track

A joint briefing by Carbon Market Watch, Secours Catholique, CCFD – Terre Solidaire and Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP) Executive summary Climate mitigation projects in the agriculture sector, particularly those focused on storing carbon in soils, are increasingly being tied to carbon markets. But the impact of these initiatives is highly questionable. First,…

Policy Submissions
5 Apr 2020

Carbon Market Watch’s feedback to energy taxation directive impact assessment

Carbon Market Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the ETD revision. Several aspects of this directive are crucial to set the EU on a  pathway compatible with the Paris Agreement’s objectives. Carbon Market Watch supports the revision of the Directive, in particular with regard to the aim of “aligning taxation of energy products…

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…

Policy Submissions
5 Apr 2018

Input to the Talanoa Dialogue: Scaling up carbon pricing for inclusive and effective climate action

The way our societies currently measure development and prosperity is strongly biased and incomplete. This leads most individuals and organisations to prioritise polluting activities whose net benefits to society have been artificially increased through the failure to correctly price their social and environmental impacts. The polluter-pays principle is therefore not being implemented, which is akin…

Policy Submissions
5 Apr 2018

Climate Action Network and Clean Shipping Coalition joint input to the Talanoa Dialogue

CONTRIBUTION OF THE GLOBAL SHIPPING SECTOR TO ACHIEVING PARIS AGREEMENT CLIMATE OBJECTIVES After a long period of operating exclusively under sail, the shipping industry transitioned first to coal-fired steam engines, and then to fossil-fuelled internal combustion engines. Today the fleet almost exclusively uses large four and two-stroke marine diesel engines, fuelled for the most part…

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.