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COP26: Week 1 report - 7 November 2021

07 Nov 2021 10:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Article 6 negotiations under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) came to an end on Saturday with Parties still divided on numerous issues.

The UK Presidency had asked SBSTA delegates to complete their work in time for cleaner versions of the draft text to be passed up to ministers on Monday when the CMA reconvenes, but even a fresh iteration of the three texts on Saturday morning could not unlock entrenched positions.

Instead, the latest texts, together with an explanatory note from the SBSTA chair, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been forwarded to the UK President Alok Sharma. These texts can be found here: Article 6.2,Article 6.4 and Article 6.8.

In a final SBSTA plenary on Saturday evening, most negotiating groups expressed regret that Article 6 issues hadn’t been advanced further, but also their appreciation for the work done by the SBSTA chair.

Switzerland for the Environmental Integrity Group emphasised that there need to be clear rules on corresponding adjustments, while Bhutan for the Least Developed Countries said, “We are still hearing arguments against a Share of Proceeds for the Adaptation Fund, which threatens the balance between adaptation and mitigation.”

Antigua and Barbuda for AOSIS said: “The Share of Proceeds should also be set here; 5% is very low and should not be in brackets.” Parties did not refer to the issue of carrying over CDM projects and credits, though the Climate Action Network urged governments to not allow any carryover, and to require corresponding adjustments for all transfers, whether inside or outside the scope of NDCs.

Parties also underlined the importance of agreement on common timeframes for NDCs and robust transparency rules for reporting. You can access a full recording of the SBSTA plenary here.

Our team believes negotiators have made incremental progress on improving the options paper that was published before the COP began. Options in the text are clearer and more concise, but there’s still a long way to go. While we had hoped that they would clear out more of the “clutter”, it seems clear the technical negotiators didn't really have political authority to move on those issues.

The International Energy Agency estimated last week that the updated NDCs, together with the Global Methane Pledge which 100 countries have signed up to, could together help keep temperature increases to just 1.8 degrees Celsius by 2050.

And since nearly 90% of the updated NDCs show interest in utilising the capabilities of Article 6 to deliver individual Parties’ climate ambitions, it’s vital that COP26 finalises this last part of the Paris Rulebook. Private sector investment will do much of the heavy lifting, and companies too need robust market rules.

A lot is going to depend on how well the heads of delegations have been briefed by their experts and, in turn, how well ministers are briefed when, as we expect, they take up the various issues on Monday.

Our view on outstanding Article 6 agenda items is that the CDM carryover will probably be limited in some way, chiefly in order to avoid overloading the Paris mechanisms with reductions from the outset.

We’re optimistic that the Share of Proceeds will apply in Article 6.4 but we think it unlikely that SoP will apply in Article 6.2.

On corresponding adjustments, we anticipate that the COP will decide on a transitional implementation over a period of some years.

At a higher level, it’s worth noting that consensus on Article 6 may also depend on how the COP decides to capture the many announcements, commitments and initiatives that have been made in Glasgow. Some of this may be represented in “chapeau” text at the top of the main COP decision document, but it will be important for many, if not all, stakeholders that all the heightened ambition is represented in the many decision texts.

Monday at the IETA Business Hub

Monday’s schedule of open events at the #COP26BizHub begins at 1030 GMT with a session hosted by the Negative Emissions Platform. A panel of experts will discuss how corresponding adjustments might work in the context of a new EU carbon removal certification mechanism. This event will be available to watch virtually.

At 1200 GMT, the Edison Electric Institute will bring together some senior power industry figures to highlight the actions their companies are taking to reach net zero emissions. You can register to watch this event here.

The Swedish Energy Agency and the Global Green Growth Institute will host a discussion at 1330 GMT on what steps need to be taken to develop Article 6 ITMO transactions, and participants will also discuss the state of the Article 6 negotiations.

At 1530 GMT, the governments of Quebec and Chile, as co-chairs of the Carbon Pricing in the Americas platform, will present the New Glasgow Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas, with participation from ministers and officials from national and sub-national jurisdictions in Chile, Panama, Mexico and Canada. The Declaration emphasises the importance of carbon pricing and international cooperation in carbon markets to achieve net zero. Virtual participation will be available here.

Our last event on Monday will take place at 1630 GMT, in which Switzerland’s KliK Foundation will host an exchange of experiences and views on how to operationalise Article 6.

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