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Briefings
4 May 2017

Too big to fail? Environmental responsibilities of the UNFCCC and ICAO processes for aviation’s new carbon market

Last year, states created an offsetting scheme to compensate for aviation’s pollution growth above 2020 levels. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is supposed to contribute to the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. However, compensating for growing emissions does not reduce emissions overall, nor put the sector on a pathway to do so. ICAO will finalize details for the CORSIA by the end of 2017. Crucial elements include the type of credits allowed, registry design, and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) rules.

Briefings
4 May 2017

Building blocks for a robust Sustainable Development Mechanism

The Paris Agreement marks a new era for international climate action in general, and specifically for international carbon markets. Though the agreement does not mention markets per se, Article 6 paragraph 4 establishes what has become to be known as the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) which builds on and shares some features of the Kyoto flexible mechanisms namely the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI).

Briefings
7 Mar 2017

Addressing aviation emissions under the EU Emissions Trading System

In February 2017, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal regarding coverage of aviation emissions by the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). In response to the offsetting agreement reached in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in October of 2016, the Commission proposes to cover only intra-European flights with the EU ETS and to exclude flights entering and leaving Europe.

Briefings
8 Nov 2016

Carbon Markets in the Post Paris World

The Paris Agreement represents a new era for international climate action, including for international carbon markets. Humans have emitted so much into the atmosphere that even if compensated, very little can still be emitted to limit serious consequences of climate change. 2°C of warming would have very negative effects, which is why it is important to swiftly work towards the Paris goal of the 1.5°C limit. If carbon markets are to help work towards this goal, they must work to rapidly increase ambition and guarantee high environmental integrity.

Briefings
25 Oct 2016

Report: Offsetting in the aviation sector

Efforts to address the rapid growth of emissions from air travel have been under discussion for years within the United Nations’ aviation body – the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In 2013, ICAO agreed on a goal of limiting international aviation’s net emissions growth to 2020 levels (estimated at roughly 700 million tonnes CO2 per year in 20201 ), via a mix of efficiency measures, biofuel use, technology and operational improvements including a CO2 standard, and a global market-based measure (GMBM). In other words, the industry’s growth from 2020 onward should be “neutral” in terms of net CO2 emissions.

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
5 May 2016

Cabin cross check: Safety criteria for aviation’s market-based measure

Summary Aviation accounts for approximately 4.9% of all global warming1 and is projected to grow by up to 300% by 2050 if left unaddressed. In order to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, international aviation must contribute to the global effort to reduce emissions. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the international body responsible…

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

Human rights accountability of climate action

Not only man-made climate change, but also certain actions to address climate change can directly result in adverse impacts on human rights. While well intentioned, certain climate mitigation actions implemented under the UNFCCC have caused harm to the environment and people—even infringing on rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, housing, and culture, among others.

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.