IETA COP24 Report
KATOWICE, 7 December - Activity both inside the negotiating rooms and in the halls picked up noticeably today as the end of the first week approached.
You may have seen in your email this morning our video report on the state of the talks, and we hope to bring you more of these as COP24 progresses. IETA doesn't have the services of a professional cameraman (or camera), but we hope something different brings more flavour of the talks!
This afternoon we were very fortunate to host a side-event in which the EU’s Kelley Kizzier, one of the two co-chairs of the Article 6 work stream in Katowice, gave a broad briefing on the state of the Article 6 talks.
As we know, on Wednesday the Article 6 co-chairs issued a new iteration of the negotiating text, and were expected to issue a second one around midday today.
According to Kelley, this new text won’t be issued until later tonight or possibly just before the negotiating groups’ co-ordination meetings at 0800 hrs on Saturday. Some Parties had said this morning that a new iteration at lunchtime today would not be useful as they are still talking through issues.
Kelley Kizzier briefs on the progress of talks at the IETA Business Hub.
Kelley said the second iteration will aim to converge around brackets reflecting options, depicting diverging positions. Tomorrow Parties will start to remove those brackets wherever negotiators see “landing zones”. SBSTA closes officially tomorrow, so the pressure is on to complete as much work as possible before the SBSTA closing plenary.
Once the SBSTA talks end, the text with the (hopefully few) remaining brackets will then be forwarded to Ministers at the start of week 2, and the Polish COP Presidency will manage the process going forward.
Kelley also offered some insight into the discussions: this week Parties have been trying to tackle the more and most challenging issues, such as share of proceeds (for the mechanisms under 6.4 and, according to some Parties, 6.2), overall mitigation of global emissions (OMGE), baselines and additionally in the Article 6.4 mechanism, accounting for Article 6.4, and “inside/outside NDC” issues.
She said Parties made it clear this morning that they want to make sure that negotiations cover broadly all of the issues or at least all of “special issues” before any new iterations are issued.
"Landing zones" on some issues are beginning to emerge and Parties are beginning to shift their position. Kelley noted that there has been a general realisation that we’re not in the world of the Kyoto Protocol and its Annex 1/non-Annex 1 distinction any more, so old divisions are fracturing. Parties from different groups are finding common ground on different issues.
It's still relatively early in the game, but Parties are encouragingly bridging positions on topics such as the accounting method, the treatment of mitigation inside/outside NDCs and are making the first attempts at defining what the transition for the CDM could look like. A lot of ground remains to be covered, but it is encouraging to see attempts at bridging different positions.
Those of you that do not believe in such a thing as weekends during COPs, should stay tuned tomorrow morning for the release of the new text.
In addition to Kelley's briefing we had a full day of side-events at the Business Hub. Jonathan Shopley of Natural Capital Partners moderated a well-attended workshop on increasing voluntary action under the Paris Agreement, while Simon Henry led a session on how the EU ETS can help deliver the EU's long-term climate strategy.
Our first reception of this year's COP at the Business Lounge.
IETA and CMIA were due to make the first of two awards to our Carbon Pricing Champions today, but the pace of negotiations meant that our first recipient was unable to join us. We're planning to make the award instead on Monday at 1520 at the IETA Business Hub side-event room, so make sure to drop by and show your appreciation to yet another pricing pioneer!
As we noted above, negotiations will continue on Saturday, and there are also side events scheduled elsewhere in the COP village. Our North America Policy Director Katie Sullivan will be speaking at the US Climate Action Center at 1400 CET on public-private cooperation to advance climate action.
On Monday, Mars will be hosting two side-events on private sector climate action in agriculture and in supply chains. These events start at 0830 CET and 0930 CET, and Mars will provide a welcome coffee to make the early start worthwhile.
At 1100 CET, the International Carbon Action Partnership and the government of Quebec will discuss how best to link emissions trading systems. Mary Nichols of the California Air Resources Board and Kay Harrison, New Zealand's lead negotiator, will be joined by speakers from MIT, the state of Maryland, and ICAP.
At 1230 CET, Mootral will host a lunch presentation and workshop on reducing cow emissions.
We'll host a discussion on the future of Asian carbon markets at 1530 CET, with speakers from IGES and the China Carbon Market Center.
Suncor and ATCO will host the final session of Monday at 1700 CET, focusing on the opportunities that the Paris Agreement offers the energy sector, and how driving down emissions can co-exist with economic growth.
With Ministers starting to arrive early next week and the talks set to become more intense, not to mention a really busy schedule at the Business Hub, we hope you take the opportunity to recharge over the weekend! We'll keep you informed of any news as we get it.