Tag: Kyoto

Stabilisation Fund Won’t Save the CDM

It is no secret that the future of the CDM looks grim. According to the High Level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue, the CDM will produce an excess of roughly 1.25 billion offset credits because of low ambition by developed countries. This has driven the prices in the cellar and stirred creativity on how to keep the market flourishing. In the CMP opening plenary, India suggested setting up a stabilisation fund to buy up excess offset credits – something that has also been recommended by the High Level Panel on the CDM. A large chunk of the excess offset credits will come from HFC-23 destruction facilities in India and China. Credits form such HFC-23 projects have been banned by major buyers (EU, Australia and New Zealand) for their lack of environmental integrity and sustainable development benefits. With a lack of buyers, such a fund would provide a convenient new source of money!

Even if HFC-23 credits were not allowed in such a fund, there is more to worry about. New findings from the CDM Policy research team show that large-scale power supply CDM projects, which are expected to generate the majority of CDM credits until 2020, are rarely additional and therefore increase global emissions. This means that such a stabilization fund would largely buy up excess credits from industrial gas projects and from projects that are unlikely to be additional. This seems like a terribly bad use of scarce climate finance. Certainly there are much more effective ways to spend mitigation money, such as directly supporting the implementation of renewable feed-in-tariffs and other proven policy measures.
 
Furthermore, if the CDM wants to be fit for the future it needs to get rid of its excess baggage of business-as-usual projects that inflate its supply. Banning credits from project types that are highly unlikely to be additional after 2012 would get rid of 1.6 billion offset credits between now and 2020. Stopping such projects from renewing their crediting period and not allowing the registration of new projects would also go a long way. 
 
Instead of putting money into the CDM stabilization fund, developed countries should raise ambition and put money on the table to help developing countries take actions that transform their economies to low-carbon development path. It’s as easy as that.
Related Newsletter : 

Little Brother’s Lessons For the Future

Joint Implementation (JI) is the much neglected little brother of the CDM. Yet JI needs careful watching, not just because hundreds of millions of credits have been issued under JI that basically launder hot air and have zero environmental integrity. But also, because JI shows us what we could face with new market mechanisms, if we do not insist on stringent international rules and oversight.

Here in Doha, Parties are discussing how to reform the JI to make it fit for post 2012. ECO welcomes the suggestion of eliminating Track 1, under which host countries can unilaterally approve projects and issue credits without any international oversight. 95% of all JI credits have been issued under track 1, many of them with blatantly no environmental integrity. 
 
Let’s look at Ukraine, the biggest supplier of JI credits with 69 projects registered under track 1. Sixty of these projects were audited by one single auditing company, paid for by the project developer. Normally such an audit takes many months, but some of the projects were miraculously audited in as little as 7 days. That hardly inspires confidence… Many of these projects requested registration only in the last couple of years but receive so called “early credits,” for emission reductions achieved before the Kyoto Protocol started, some receiving credits going as far back as 2002. These projects hardly needed application to JI rules, since they were implemented long before the mechanism started functioning.
 
This is not to single out Ukraine. It is just to point out what happens when countries can unilaterally issue credits which can then be used for compliance under a global regime. Short-term self-interest trumps long- term climate security. Dear Delegates, please remember this before you enthusiastically endorse an anarchy of approaches and standards under the LCA’s Framework for Various Approaches. The UNFCCC needs to lay out common rules for mechanisms to ensure integrity. We now know from the JI that approval at national level without UNFCCC oversight simply doesn’t deliver.
 
Unfortunately, the suggested new rules for one unified JI track are insufficient to ensure JI’s climate integrity. Environmental integrity criteria have to be strengthened (i.e. additionality and baseline rules). Non-additional JI projects undermine mitigation goals, especially when they are implemented in countries with a large AAU surplus. Therefore it is vital that only countries that have an ambitious reduction commitment should be able to host JI projects. 
 
The window of opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing. We cannot afford any distracting market mechanisms that do not deliver new and additional emission reductions.
 
 
Related Newsletter : 

A Hot Blast of Hot Air from Doha Delivers Fossils to Poland and Russia

 

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Poland. Back home in Poland, Environment Minister Korolec, revealed the country's position on the Doha talks -  claiming the carryover of AAU credits is NOT a priority issue, but that the length of the second commitment period and the obligations contained in the Kyoto Protocol are. We should remind the minister that carryover of AAUs influences the level of ambition in CP2. 

Moreover, Poland does not want to give up even one tonne of their huge surplus of AAU emission allowances to contribute to the environmental integrity. Why? Warsaw believes their AAU surplus is a strictly national issue. Hello…!! Carbon emissions know no national borders and the issue is a key element of the CP2 negotiations!

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Russia. The Russian vice Prime Minister confirmed on Wednesday following ministerial talks that the country will not sign on to the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol. Next week, Russia will announce its emissions reduction targets, but they will not be attributed to the Second Commitment Period, which Russia strongly opposes. This also means that Russia will lose the chance to take part in JI (Joint Implementation) projects in the future, something that the country was striving to be involved with. This will have a negative effect on both the economy and low-carbon development in Russia.

A Hot Blast of Hot Air from Doha Delivers Fossils to Poland and Russia

Fossil of the Day - Day 4 of COP18 in Doha, Qatar

 

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Poland. Back home in Poland, Environment Minister Korolec, revealed the country's position on the Doha talks -  claiming the carryover of AAU credits is NOT a priority issue, but that the length of the second commitment period and the obligations contained in the Kyoto Protocol are. We should remind the minister that carryover of AAUs influences the level of ambition in CP2. 

Moreover, Poland does not want to give up even one tonne of their huge surplus of AAU emission allowances to contribute to the environmental integrity. Why? Warsaw believes their AAU surplus is a strictly national issue. Hello…!! Carbon emissions know no national borders and the issue is a key element of the CP2 negotiations!

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Russia. The Russian vice Prime Minister confirmed on Wednesday following ministerial talks that the country will not sign on to the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol. Next week, Russia will announce its emissions reduction targets, but they will not be attributed to the Second Commitment Period, which Russia strongly opposes. This also means that Russia will lose the chance to take part in JI (Joint Implementation) projects in the future, something that the country was striving to be involved with. This will have a negative effect on both the economy and low-carbon development in Russia.


Photo Credit: Miljømagasinet Putsj/Vilde Blix Huseby

Dear Canada

Do you remember last year? We do. ECO desperately hoped the hallway rumours of a Kyoto withdrawal weren’t true, but the second your Minister left the fine city of Durban, he confirmed your reckless abandonment of the only legally binding climate treaty we have. Little birds from around the world are telling ECO that this promise-breaking probably has something to do with those vast pits of tar sands you are so hooked on, the same ones that are undermining all of your domestic climate goals.

ECO knows you are still technically allowed in the Kyoto room, but please don’t touch that microphone. When you jumped ship on the first KP term as it hit the home stretch, you drowned what little credibility you had left. As a matter of principle you should sit silently in the back like the bad kid in the class who has been told to be quiet until they learn how to behave. There are well-intentioned Parties in the room that are trying to move forward to solve the climate crisis, so please just back off.
 
You don’t want Kyoto and we suspect, as a result, it doesn’t want you. 
Region: 
Related Newsletter : 

Fossil bounty for backtracking Canada and New Zealand

 

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Canada, who has capped support rather than emissions. Newsflash! This just in from the Canadian Environment Minister! Developing countries need to just take a deep breath and wait until we have an all-in global deal before they should expect any support from Canada to move towards a clean energy future through the Green Climate Fund. In talking to reporters yesterday, Canada’s environment minister took a moment to tell journalists that he would ‘make it clear’ at the meetings in Doha that developing countries shouldn’t expect more money towards climate financing from Canada, because after all, Doha “isn’t a pledging conference.”
 
Thanks for clearing that up, Minister! We are sure that that will do wonders for your stellar credibility and reputation at these talks. Thankfully the Minister IS coming to Doha with at least one commitment: Canada is still firmly committed that tar sands emissions will rise far beyond the 2 degree climate limit.
 
World to Canada: You are supposed to be ramping finance up and emissions down; not the other way around!”

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to New Zealand, again, because not only did Wellington deliberately decide not to put its target into the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but today proposed that access to the CDM should be open to all and should not depend on whether a country is signing up to a second commitment period. To make it clear, New Zealand pointed out that otherwise the Adaptation Fund will not have enough money to keep functioning. Come on Kiwis, forget about the hobbits and think about your neighbors! You have to be serious… if you want to feast on carbon markets you have to work up your targets first!

The United States gets the Third Place Fossil for once again rejecting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yesterday President Obama signed a misguided Bill coming from Congress aimed at preventing compliance of US airlines with EU regulations, for flights into and out of the EU. If Congress doesn't like the EU approach, we hope they realize the only alternative is a strong multilateral agreement. We urge Obama to reject any approach based on isolationism, and take this bill as an green light to pursue a strong multilateral agreement for the global  aviation sector, including putting a price on carbon, and to lead the way a strong and binding global climate agreement under the UNFCCC.

 

Region: 
Organization: 

Fossil bounty for backtracking Canada and New Zealand

The First Place Fossil is awarded to Canada, who has capped support rather than emissions. Newsflash! This just in from the Canadian Environment Minister! Developing countries need to just take a deep breath and wait until we have an all-in global deal before they should expect any support from Canada to move towards a clean energy future through the Green Climate Fund. In talking to reporters yesterday, Canada’s environment minister took a moment to tell journalists that he would ‘make it clear’ at the meetings in Doha that developing countries shouldn’t expect more money towards climate financing from Canada, because after all, Doha “isn’t a pledging conference.”
 
Thanks for clearing that up, Minister! We are sure that that will do wonders for your stellar credibility and reputation at these talks. Thankfully the Minister IS coming to Doha with at least one commitment: Canada is still firmly committed that tar sands emissions will rise far beyond the 2 degree climate limit.
 
World to Canada: You are supposed to be ramping finance up and emissions down; not the other way around!”

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to New Zealand, again, because not only did Wellington deliberately decide not to put its target into the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but today proposed that access to the CDM should be open to all and should not depend on whether a country is signing up to a second commitment period. To make it clear, New Zealand pointed out that otherwise the Adaptation Fund will not have enough money to keep functioning. Come on Kiwis, forget about the hobbits and think about your neighbors! You have to be serious… if you want to feast on carbon markets you have to work up your targets first!

The United States gets the Third Place Fossil for once again rejecting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yesterday President Obama signed a misguided Bill coming from Congress aimed at preventing compliance of US airlines with EU regulations, for flights into and out of the EU. If Congress doesn't like the EU approach, we hope they realize the only alternative is a strong multilateral agreement. We urge Obama to reject any approach based on isolationism, and take this bill as an green light to pursue a strong multilateral agreement for the global  aviation sector, including putting a price on carbon, and to lead the way a strong and binding global climate agreement under the UNFCCC.

Region: 

Finance and EU rifts could threaten COP19 progress

 

    

[Doha – Qatar] – November  28, 2012 – Half way through the first week of the major climate talks of the year a number of worrying fault lines  have emerged which have the potential to derail the Doha negotiations if they are not resolved, NGO experts warned. 

The Polish Government – who will today be announced as host of next year's major climate talks - is playing a unique blocking role towards further climate action in Europe which could destabilise the climate talks in Doha.

While other potential flash points have emerged around the successful closure of the LCA track and climate finance.

Anja Kollmuss, from Carbon Market Watch, said the Polish Government was trying to win respect as a climate leader by hosting the COP19 next year, but the truth was they were singlehandedly preventing the European Union from raising its emissions reduction target to 30 per cent and from finalising a long term strategy to deal with climate change.

“The President of the climate talks needs to be able negotiate deals between parties and seal deals but the Polish government has shown it is not capable of this as it has repeatedly been against the wishes of the other 26 EU member states,” she said.

But the Polish Government is also blocking progress in the negotiations in Doha by refusing to agree to the tightening of the rules around pollution permits in the second commitment period of the only legally binding climate deal we have, the Kyoto Protocol.

The Polish Government wants to use pollution permits it did not spend in the first commitment period of Kyoto because it chose a target that was already met several times over, but allowing this would make a joke of Warsaw's commitment to the treaty.

Also under a cloud is the question of whether rich countries will scale up their funding of climate action to developing countries to reach the $100 billion commitment by 2020 and to capitalise the now empty Green Climate Fund. 


Oxfam International's Tim Gore said despite economic problems facing many rich countries there were many options still available to them to fund climate action, such as a Financial Transactions Tax (due to be implemented in 12 EU countries next year) or a fair carbon change on the emissions from international aviation and shipping.

“Failure to do this by next week, could see this COP start to unravel,” Gore said.

Mohamed Adow, from Christian Aid, said at this early stage of the talks countries were already adopting unhelpful negotiation tactics around the successful closure of the longterm cooperative action (LCA) track which came out of Bali in 2007 where finance was a key issue.


Topics: 
Related Member Organization: 

Will Doha Burst the Hot Air bubble?

A staggering 13 billion emissions permits are left over from the first Kyoto commitment period. Hot air is looming large – and threatens the viability of CP2 and any future climate deal.

ECO would like to remind delegates that the problem is the result of extremely weak CP1 emissions targets well above what countries were projected to emit. Poland, for example committed to a 6% reduction from their 1988 emission levels, despite the fact that in 1997, when the Kyoto targets were set, Poland’s emissions were already about 20% below 1988 levels. ECO warns the distinguished delegates not to fall for the bogus claim that the existence of hot air is the result of dedicated action. It’s not – and the economic downfall of the nineties cannot lead to inherited rights in the climate change process.
 
But memories are short. ECO can’t help but notice that Parties are about to make the same mistake again: Low pledges for CP2 mean that another surplus of 3 to 10 billion tonnes will accumulate by 2020. Add to that the 13 Gt surplus from the first phase and you have rendered any Kyoto targets quite meaningless. Yet Russia, Ukraine and Poland, the largest surplus holders, insist on keeping the right to sell their hot air. ECO has looked into it and found this is a vain hope. Pledges for CP2 are so weak that no one will buy their surplus! Prices for AAUs have dropped from 13 EUR in 2008 to less than 0.5 EUR in 2012.
 
The problem is so big that even if developed countries were to increase their CP2 pledges, they could meet their more stringent targets by simply buying more surplus and without actually cutting their emissions.
 
For those delegates that are interested in returning a little bit of environmental integrity to the system, ECO would like to emphasise that they’ll need to burst the hot air bubble. Raising ambition and closing loopholes go hand in hand. ECO therefore suggests to start looking seriously at the proposal by the G77 and China. It effectively minimises the use of CP1 hot air in CP2, does not allow for trading, and, most importantly, cancels the surplus permanently by the end of the second commitment period.
 
Is it worth it? Look, we are now on a pollution path that could lead to warming of 4oC or more. In addition, impacts associated with even 2oC of warming have been revised upwards and are now considered “dangerous” and “extremely dangerous”. A world beyond 2oC will threaten the very existence of civilisation as we know it. Heard of it? Worried? Then go burst the hot air bubble.
Topics: 
Related Newsletter : 

What’s wrong with Poland?

The Polish government lives in the past. Because of that it believes Poland should be treated as a special case forever. It fails to acknowledge that a lot has changed in the country since the 1990s. Poland is a developed country now. But instead of strengthening Poland’s climate policies to further enhance competitiveness, its government blocks any action on climate change and threatens the country’s future.

So far, Poland has done everything it can to be the lone bad guy in the EU. Poland already stood alone thrice in opposing European efforts to take more ambitious climate action for  2020 and beyond. ECO understands that Poland wants to be seen as a strong EU country. But domestically, the Polish authorities have done everything but be an equal partner, such as failing to fully enforce important EU laws. And to top its opposition to stronger action by the EU, it plans to build new coal and nuclear power plants, open new lignite mines and extract shale gas. This when most European countries are transitioning to a low-carbon economy based on renewables and energy efficiency.
 
At the UNFCCC negotiations the Polish government has been blocking the EU from finding a constructive, unified position to address the 13 billion AAU surplus. It is unashamedly claiming a full carry-over of AAUs to CP2 as a price to agreeing to continue into it. The Polish government does not even seem to mind aligning itself with Russia on this issue. ECO would like to ask the Polish government why it insists on full carry over, since AAUs will have zero value in CP2 given there will be no demand because of the low level of ambition by developed countries. Is Poland really willing to derail the international negotiations over this?
 
Poland wants to host COP19. But is it responsible enough to do so? Hosting a COP comes with many political responsibilities, including being able to constructively engage in finding solutions. It is not just about calling on others to act, it is about showing leadership and committing oneself to more ambitious action. Poland has yet to show the world that it is able to do so. Instead of vetoing, the Polish government has to learn the art of compromise. Poland, are you ready?
Topics: 
Related Newsletter : 

Pages

Subscribe to Tag: Kyoto