IETA COP24 Report
KATOWICE, 12 December - Greetings from an increasingly intense Katowice.
Negotiations continued all day, mostly behind closed doors, as technical experts continued to work on outstanding issues, while ministers supervised the discussions on more political questions.
We understand that after meeting all day, some of these technical groups were to continue working until around 9pm Wednesday night. The COP Presidency indicated that the technical work would focus on baselines, corresponding adjustments, overall mitigation of global emissions and governance under Article 6.8.
These issues were expected be forwarded to ministers after work ended, to join those political topics that have already been set aside for ministerial attention, including "inside/outside", share of proceeds and whether ITMOs may be used for purposes other than towards meeting NDCs.
There was no new text published on Wednesday, though several iterations of documents did appear, with different titles.
Kelley Kizzier (EU delegation), Nat Keohane (EDF), Steve Rose (EPRI), Jonathan Grant (PWC/IETA) and Dirk Forrister at IETA and EDF's official side event.
Kelley Kizzier of the EU delegation spoke at our official side event on Wednesday afternoon, and confirmed our impressions by telling the audience that "there is progress happening; there is compromise on the smaller issues, [but] maybe not on the big-ticket items."
IETA's side-event programme on Wednesday was a little less hectic than Tuesday's: we began with Min Li leading a discussion on how international experiences with market mechanisms have helped China with the roll-out of its own national ETS, and revisited that topic later in the day when Katie Sullivan joined a panel discussing North American experiences and how they may help China's process.
Katie Sullivan underlines business' message for the designers of market mechanisms.
IETA also hosted a fascinating discussion on solar geo-engineering - technologies that reduce radiative forcing - and how it can be governed and deployed. Professor Robert Stavins of Harvard and Janos Pasztor of the Carnegie Council led the discussion.
For IETA though, the day was dominated by our official COP24 side event, which we held jointly with Environmental Defense Fund. Dirk Forrister presented early results from modelling carried out by the Joint Global Change Research Institute at University of Maryland, which shows that efficient, linked international markets can drive down the cost of abatement by as much as $270 billion a year by 2030. You can watch a recording of the event here.
Thursday is the final day of IETA's side-event programme. There will be just five public events, kicking off at 0830 CET with a session on company risk. EPRI will lead a discussion into how to develop a scientific basis to calculate climate risk and how it impacts companies.
At 1000 CET, IETA will revisit the Carbon Pricing in the Americas Declaration and look at the policy priorities and pricing initiatives that are emerging in the various countries that signed the Declaration.
At 1300 CET we will host a session that investigates the role that governments can play in mobilising finance to scale up efforts in REDD+. Leslie Durschinger, who chairs the IETA REDD+ working group, will moderate a discussion on how governments can create the conditions that allow private capital to integrate with NDC goals.
The final two events are hosted by Gas Naturally; the first at 1430 CET will look at innovation in mitigation - including CCUS - and how the natural gas industry is working to play its part in reducing emissions. The final session at 1615 CET will take a look at how millennials, who are growing as entrepreneurs, scientists and even policymakers, are responding to climate change.
Wednesday ended with IETA's Nightcap Party, where guests mingled above the Christmas market in Katowice's main square, while the UK Conservative Party voted to keep Theresa May as its leader for now. Prime Minister May reportedly told MPs that she will not lead the party into the next election.
We will circulate any new draft texts that appear in the coming day to you all, and welcome your comments.