Four days in, and COP is noticeably busier. Indeed, more of our members have arrived in the past couple of days; it’s been great to see so many of you at our Hub. If you’re arriving over the weekend, we’re in the Bonn zone, in zone A, at the very end of the hall. It’s a nice, open space, with a great agenda of events, good networking opportunities, lots of familiar faces, and we have free coffee – what more could you want?
Away from the Hub, all the way over in the Bula zone (and by all the way, we really mean aaaaallllll the way over in the Bula zone – those who are yet to arrive, definitely download the Nextbike app if you plan to go between Bonn and Bula), talks on Article 6 are gathering pace. Yesterday and today saw the informal sessions rattle through the three notes released overnight on Monday (available here, under item 11), starting with Article 6.4 (emissions mitigation mechanism) yesterday afternoon. Despite starting late, the group managed to get through the entire note in the time remaining – which was no easy feat.
Although less of a negotiation and more of an airing of views, there is a willingness to progress that perhaps has been absent in the past. Differences remain however, which one observer characterised as “Brazil against the rest of the world”. Some Parties are calling for the units created as a result of the emissions mitigation mechanism to only take place within the host party’s NDC, and thus a corresponding adjustment to their NDC would be required in line with 6.2. Brazil, however, is a big proponent of limiting the mechanism to activities which are in addition to the NDC – which raises questions about how a Party can then use the credits to meet their NDC. And, if there is a corresponding adjustment, some Parties are calling for it to be made at the point of issuance, while others are proposing at point of use/retirement.
There were also requests for clarity on the use of other standards, such as voluntary standards, and on the use of CERs. Key for IETA, a number of Parties are keen to include proposals on incentivising non-state actors as well – watch this space.
This morning, the group went through the note on Article 6.8 (non-market approaches). We won’t go into much detail, but it was encouraging that they got through the whole paper in 90 minutes.
This left only Article 6.2 with issues outstanding, which were dealt with this afternoon. The main substantive issue was around the proposed merger of sections 3 and 4 (relating to the use and issuance of ITMOs), with most Parties trusting the co-facilitators to accurately reflect the discussions in a new streamlined note. However, the Arab Group was pushing for simply adding new proposals to the current structure, ie so both a separate 3 and 4 and a merged version. In the end, the co-facilitators emphasised the need to push ahead with a streamlined text rather than a cumbersome compilation. We are eagerly awaiting their new take on the topic.
New notes on 6.2, 6.4 and 6.8 are expected overnight, with a contact group meeting expected tomorrow morning ahead of another cycle of informals on each issue in turn. Watch the daily programme tomorrow for more information on meeting times and locations.
Elsewhere, the conflict of interest issue was raised again yesterday at a constituency open dialogue with the presidency, with continued pressure from some to exclude business observers from the UNFCCC process. One observer commented that this is a “coordinated” manoeuver by some NGOs and a few like-minded Parties, although it was also noted that all observers have an interest in the outcomes. The SBI president diplomatically pointed out that this issue falls within his remit, and the conversation was contained by the Presidency and secretariat. However, it is not likely that this is the end of it.
Meanwhile, at the Business Hub, our programme of side events is now in full swing. Over the past two days, sessions have covered future-proofing the voluntary carbon market, CORSIA preparations, a wrap up of carbon markets around the world, the Joint Crediting Mechanism, California’s market, fiscal risks and opportunities from a green economy transition, clean energy investment trends…
Tonight, IETA and CMIA were honoured to award the first Carbon Pricing Champion Award of the COP to the government of New Zealand, given to Kay Harrison from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was in recognition of New Zealand’s work on their ETS reform, making it more robust and linkage ready, as well as taking a leadership role on markets at the UNFCCC.