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13 Nov 2017

Visibility Unlimited: Transparency of the new aviation carbon market

Executive summary A new offsetting scheme called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2016 to compensate for the industry’s emissions growth above 2020 levels. Although this measure will address less than a third of the sectors’ total expected emissions in 2030,…

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.

19 Apr 2017

CLARA Briefing – Climate Action in the Land Sector: Treading carefully

This briefing, published by the Climate, Land, Ambition and Rights Alliance – CLARA –, has been endorsed by Carbon Market Watch. Executive Summary Climate action must be urgently scaled up to limit global warming. Action in the land sector is critical and necessary for achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting planetary warming to 1.5°…

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.

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.

8 Jul 2016

Joint Policy Brief: Why LULUCF cannot ensure that bioenergy reduces emissions

As part of work to produce a climate and energy package for 2030, the European Commission is currently reviewing the sustainability of all uses and sources of bioenergy for the period after 2020.1 The European Commission will also propose a new policy on how to include the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector in the EU’s…

16 Feb 2016

Rooting out the problem: preventing LULUCF from undermining the EU’s 2030 target

The European Commission is expected to publish legislation on how to include the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector into the EU’s 2030 climate framework in the summer of 2016. Three options presented by the Commission on how to do this suggest various levels of integration with other sectors, from keeping LULUCF in a separate pillar, combining the sector with methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20) agriculture emissions, or adding the sector into the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD).

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.

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).

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.