Statement attributable to Carbon Market Institute CEO John Connor:
Thursday, 10 November. A day of drama and big moves in Glasgow was topped off with a surprise US-China announcement of cooperation which includes specific mentions on methane and coal phaseouts. This has boosted COP26 negotiation hopes, which importantly also made clear that COP27 in 2022 will be focused on targets and timelines for ramping up decarbonisation.
The US-China “Glasgow Declaration” is an emphatic rebuttal of the notion Glasgow will mark a departure from targets, timelines and emissions regulation. These remain crucial, along with technology development initiatives and support. As business and business groups have repeatedly said in Australia, all are required to unlock and guide investment in the transition required this decade if Australia is to avoid the costs and missed opportunities if global heating exceeds 1.5C.
The US-China statement reaffirms support for the Paris Agreement goals of keeping average global warming well below 2 degrees celsius and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5C. This is significant as China raised eyebrows early last week when questioning the latter. The surprise statement also comes after direct antagonism between the nations in week one of COP26, but highlights that cooperation is in the national interests of both.
Earlier, version 4 of negotiated texts on Article 6 – rules for international cooperation and carbon markets was released, as well as an expansive draft cover note for all Glasgow decisions.
The cover note has elements that will be hard for Australia to swallow, but were not strong enough for our neighbours in the Pacific and other developing countries seeking greater ambition and supportive investment. The call for more regular Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) updates until greater alignment with the 1.5C goal is welcome, highlighting Australia will be under continued international scrutiny in COP and other channels next year and the rest of the decade.
New drafts of the Article 6 rulebook show progress and narrowed areas of dispute on key issues. ‘Bridging proposals’ on high integrity but flexible approaches to the issues of double counting/corresponding adjustments, share of proceeds in 6.2, and transition of the Clean Development Mechanism and units, have been outlined in yesterday’s text which is now the basis for negotiation by Heads of Delegations.
There are positive reports on the mood music in the negotiations, including from the EU’s Chief Article 6 Negotiator who commented “there’s a good spirit and strong intent to conclude decisions this week”. This optimism needs to convert to clear rules for international carbon markets, that are investable, but have environmental integrity. The aim is to get an outcome on Article 6 that allows the mechanisms to be operationalised straight away, and that participants and countries understand responsibilities, expectations and boundaries.
The Carbon Market Institute is the independent industry association for business leading the transition to net zero emissions. Its over 120 members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous corporations, legal and advisory services, insurers, banks and emission intensive industries developing decarbonisation and offset strategies.
To interview John Connor please contact Clare Price on 0490 252 743 or firstname.lastname@example.org