WATCH THIS! NGO Newsletter #11: Santa Rita hydro dam: ”A story of pain”

The Santa Rita hydro dam is a violation of the basic rights of native people. This project, supported by the State of Guatemala and the funds granted by the major banks of Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and by the World Bank for the general development of the Q’ eqchi communities of the Dolores River, generated the consequences feared from the beginning: death, fear, populations displacement, expulsions and repression of the local communities.

Briefing: Aviation and Climate Change

Climate change is happening. Global average temperatures have already increased by 0.8ºC above preindustrial levels. Current trends imply a warming of 2.9-5.2ºC by the end of the century, which, even at the low end of the range, will cause great impacts on the planet and threaten many areas of human life, including health, food security, economic growth, societal change, and drinking water. 2015 is a key year for global efforts to combat climate change and keep warming under 2ºC, the warming limit agreed in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations.

Consultation on revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) Directive

On 24 October 2014, the European Council agreed on the 2030 framework for climate and energy [1], including a binding domestic target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 40% in 2030 as compared to 1990. To meet this target, the European Council agreed that the emissions in the EU Emission Trading System should be reduced, compared to 2005, by 43%. A reformed EU ETS remains the main instrument to achieve the emission reduction target. The cap will decline based on an annual linear reduction factor of 2.2% (instead of the current 1.74%) from 2021 onwards, to achieve the necessary emission reductions in the EU ETS. The European Council furthermore gave strategic guidance on several issues regarding the implementation of the emission reduction target, namely free allocation to industry, the establishment of a modernisation and an innovation fund, optional free allocation of allowances to modernise electricity generation in some Member States.

European carbon market reform Must Succeed in Reality

In February members of the European Parliament voted to start the reform of the EU’s carbon market by 2019, and put almost 1.4 billion pollution permits that were due to come back to the market by 2020 directly into the new market stability reserve (MSR). Unfortunately the reform does not provide a structural solution for the lacking environmental effectiveness of the EU ETS, as around 800 million surplus allowances are allowed to flow back to the market again before 2030, diluting the EU’s 2030 target by 3%.

European Parliament takes a step to knock out Europe’s toxic tonnes…later than sooner

Brussels 24 February. Today the European Parliament’s environment committee took the first steps to reform the EU’s Emissions Trading System. Following intense pressure from forward looking investors and civil society, policymakers agreed to curb the total amount of pollution permits in the system that would otherwise flood the market by 2020. This is expected to result in a stronger carbon price signal in order to let the polluter pay and support climate friendly investments in Europe. Policymakers unfortunately failed to agree to a timely start of the new Market Stability Reserve which will only become operational by 2019.

Command-and-control measures pending negative ETS reform vote

On Tuesday 24 February, Members of the European Parliament will cast a crucial vote on the future of Europe’s flagship climate instrument, the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Failure to reform Europe’s carbon market could sink the emerging network of global carbon trading systems and have profound consequences for the success of the international climate summit in Paris at the end of this year.

Launch of Korean ETS underlines the need for linking safeguards

This month, South Korea became the second Asian country after Kazakhstan to officially start a national carbon market. The first carbon allowances that were traded on the Korea Exchange were sold at a similar price to that in Europe’s emissions trading system (EU ETS). South Korea’s ETS could therefore be a good candidate for linking with EU’s carbon market now that the EU is looking at linking as replacement for the barred use of international offsets. While linking can have significant consequences for the integrity of the EU ETS, the European Parliament is currently not in a position to scrutinize the linking negotiation process.

The use of carbon markets under a post-2020 climate deal

Carbon Market Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide views on the deliberations of the Framework for Various Approaches (FVA) which will be discussed at SBSTA41. In June 2014, SBSTA40 agreed to elaborate the FVA with a view to recommending draft decisions for consideration and adoption by COP 20 in Lima.

Reap what you sow: participation in a global carbon market should be limited to countries with ambitious climate targets

The role of future carbon markets will rank high on the agenda in Lima. Against the insufficient climate action pledges that have been made so far, a key issue in Lima will be to establish participation criteria that will only allow those countries with a mitigation target in line with the 2°C target to participate in international carbon markets.

To be or not to be: Is the EU’s 2030 climate pledge enough to participate in international carbon markets?

In October 2014 EU leaders agreed to at least 40% binding domestic greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 compared to 1990. This significant move away from allowing the use of international offsets also puts into question the EU’s plans to link up carbon markets under a new climate treaty. Experience from the EU’s carbon market shows why international eligibility criteria for participation in the global carbon market are needed.