Europe’s 2030 climate commitment risks going up in hot air

Brussels, 1 June 2016. A new policy report launched today warns of dangerous loopholes that threaten to nullify Europe’s climate commitments under the Paris agreement. It calls for greater emission cuts in sectors including transport, agriculture, waste and buildings, if the EU’s largest climate policy is to be coherent with the goal to limit global …

European Parliament Event: The Effort Sharing Decision post-2020: How to ensure that the EU’s largest climate instrument is fit for purpose

Background: The European Commission will soon present new climate policy to reduce the emissions of the non-traded sectors after 2020. These sectors – including road transport, buildings and agriculture, amongst others – are currently covered by the EU’s Effort Sharing Decision (ESD), which regulates almost 60% of the GHG greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.  …

Putting a price on pollution in Europe’s largest climate instrument

The polluter-pays principle is supposed to promote less polluting habits, including greenhouse gas emission reductions. However, carbon pricing cannot deliver its intended results by itself. To fully exploit its potential to speed up the decarbonisation of Europe, carbon pricing must be framed in an overall supportive policy context.

Submission on Concept note: Exploration of methodological options for developing ‘agriculture CDM’

Carbon Market Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the concept note exploring new methodological options for developing ‘agriculture CDM’. The submission addresses issues of scope as some methodologies considered, particularly for soil carbon sequestration activities, are not eligible under the CDM. Additionally, technical comments addressed MRV obstacles for biochar, sequestration and avoided emissions projects that should preclude them from consideration under the CDM.

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).

EU at risk of climate action standstill in the coming years

Analysis by the European Environment Agency (EEA) finds that last year, the EU reduced its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 23% compared to 1990 levels. No extra efforts are needed from now up to 2020 for the EU to meet its climate target of 20% emission reductions. Carbon Market Watch calls on the EU to increase its 2020 climate target to avoid that climate actions in the EU come to a halt. A higher 2020 target will also ensure that surplus credits generated until 2020 cannot be used to offset emissions in the 2030 climate framework.

New loopholes disguised as flexibilities threaten reduction efforts in non-ETS sectors

Last week Carbon Market Watch presented new analysis on how (not) to reduce the costs of tackling sixty percent of EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, covered by the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD). The report finds that a wrong design could significantly undermine reduction efforts in the transport, agriculture, buildings and waste sectors until 2030 by up to 28%. Early action on the other hand can lead to an extra one billion tonnes of CO2 reduction in the 2021-2030 period.

NEWS: Forestry offsets could turn EU’s 40% climate target into merely 35%

A new report from the Öko-Institut shows that the use of forestry offsets to replace efforts in other sectors would undermine the EU’s 2030 climate target by 5%. The legislative proposal for the land use sector that the European Commission is expected to present early next year should therefore uphold the environmental integrity of the EU’s 2030 climate target by treating the emissions and removals from our forests and soils completely separate from the efforts of other sectors.

Policy Brief: Flexibilities in the EU’s 2030 Effort Sharing Decision

The Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) is a centerpiece of Europe’s climate legislation as it sets annual emission reduction targets for each Member State for the greenhouse gas emissions from the transport, building, agriculture and waste sectors. The ESD was adopted in 2009 to implement the EU’s 2020 climate target and has been designed for the 2013-2020 period. To implement the newly agreed 2030 climate target, the European Commission is expected to present a new legislative proposal to reduce emissions from ESD sectors in the 2021-2030 period in the first half of 2016.