Ben Garside, co-founder, Carbon Pulse; Gordon Bennett, managing director, utility markets, ICE; David Antonioli, CEO, Verra; Joan MacNaughton, chair, The Climate Group; and Ingo Puhl, founding partner, South Pole at the premiere of Blue-Sky Thinking at the IETA Business Hub.
Greetings from Glasgow! It’s been an extremely hectic Wednesday at the IETA Business Hub; we hosted no fewer than 11 events and meetings at the pavilion, and ended the day with a surprise VIP guest who dropped in for a chat with Dirk Forrister during our daily members’ briefing (more later!).
The main headlines across COP26 today focused on finance. The UK Presidency launched the “Breakthrough Agenda”, a commitment by 42 countries to work together this decade to accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies and sustainable solutions to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Finance ministers met to discuss the next steps in public financial commitments after 2025, when the current $100 billion a year pledge ends.
The UK and Fiji launched a Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, to smooth the path for countries seeking to access climate investment.
35 countries agreed to mandatory actions to ensure investors have access to reliable information about climate risk to guide their investments, while 36 countries also supported the announcement of a new international body, the International Sustainability Standards Board.
In the negotiating rooms, our observers were pleasantly surprised by Parties’ focus on resolving technical issues, rather than on restating existing positions. Many Parties are focusing on specific wording on specific issues: a good sign, because it means that the delegations are really engaging with the text. As a result, we’re beginning to see signs of some potential compromises and landing points emerging.
Our team noted that the contentious question of whether a Share of Proceeds should apply in Article 6.2 appears to have been “parked” for the moment. It’s not yet clear whether the SBSTA negotiators will return to it later this week, or leave it for ministers to deal with next week.
We were also pleased to see that, on the issue of corresponding adjustments for transfers outside of NDCs, there may be a path opening to compromise. There were some exchanges between the EU and some developing country Parties that seemed to signal a willingness to work together.
There’s no indication yet of when delegates will want to see a new version of the draft texts, though our team don’t rule out the possibility of new drafts as early as tomorrow night. Time is already running short for SBSTA to finish its work before the session ends on Saturday, and we may see some late nights (early mornings?) in the next couple of days.
Wednesday at the IETA Business Hub
Wednesday’s programme kicked off with an event hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright dealing with financing the energy transition, after which Proklima hosted a virtual event on using market mechanisms to deal with fluorinated gases. You can register for a recording of this event here.
Oxy Low Carbon Ventures hosted a session on how to ensure that carbon removals can be treated in a consistent way across different mechanisms –compliance, voluntary and NDCs – and how to ensure different systems retain their integrity.
Verra hosted a popular panel discussion on the supply-side outlook for the voluntary carbon market and how it can scale up financial flows to developing countries, which you can watch here.
IETA organised an event on “Carbon Removals and Compliance Markets: Enabling the ‘Net’ in ‘Net-Zero’”, to discuss how carbon removals could be integrated into existing market structures. You can watch a recording of this event here.
ICROA’s headline event of the day was a discussion on demand, supply and transparency in the voluntary carbon market as key factors for market growth in 2022.
IETA CEO Dirk Forrister hosted Quebec’s Premier François Legault for an informal chat, before we held the launch of “Blue-Sky Thinking”, a news programme produced in conjunction with ITN Productions. The programme features IETA members and collaborators, discussing how they are all working towards the Paris goals, and you can view it all online.
The day still held a final surprise for us all, however. As Dirk was briefing our members on the day’s negotiations on Zoom, he was joined by Bill Gates (yes, the Bill Gates!) and the two had a brief impromptu chat about carbon pricing.
Thursday at the IETA Business Hub
We’ve another packed day at the COP26 Business Hub on Thursday, with a mix of in-person and virtual events taking place. We kick off at 0900 hrs with an event by GIZ Tunisia looking at Article 6 preparedness in developing countries, with a focus on Tunisia.
Simultaneously, we’ll be hosting a virtual event organised by CLP, looking at the Asian power sector and the transition to net-zero – please register in advance here to participate.
At 1030 hrs, IPIECA takes over the hub to host a panel discussion about the role of technology and partnerships for the energy transition and a sustainable future for all.
At noon, we host an event organised by the Eastern Africa Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance (EAA), GIZ, BMU, and the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre Kampala, focusing on strengthening momentum on Article 6 in Eastern Africa and sharing experiences from the region.
Norton Rose Fulbright takes over at 1330 hrs, with an event showcasing the role of hydrogen in reaching net-zero, how to scale up production, and how to create a business model for hydrogen.
At 1500 hrs, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry hosts an event about the energy transition and climate action. Virtual participation is possible via Zoom – the passcode is 688998.
That’s followed by a discussion about the future of voluntary carbon markets at 1630 hrs, organised by Vertis Environmental Finance and its voluntary markets brand, Strive. At 1800 hrs, CTX/GEM hosts a panel about infrastructure to scale the voluntary markets, followed by a drinks reception.
Elsewhere tomorrow, IETA is hosting a side event at the EU Pavilion at 1pm, looking at the role of carbon pricing in the net-zero transition, featuring an address from Lord Greg Barker, executive chairman of En+ Group. One not to be missed!