Our briefings & publications released at COP25

11 Dec – Fundamental Risk to Markets Integrity by Inclusion of Non-Greenhouse Gas Metrics

Several of the world biggest emitters have expressed the targets of their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) in non-greenhouse gas units. The current draft CMA decision in relation to Article 6.2 allows for the inclusion of non-greenhouse gas (GHG) metrics as an option for the internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs). While there are some provisions that call for further work on providing guidance on such metrics in the current draft text, there are fundamental concerns with regard to the integrity and effectiveness of such approaches.

11 Dec – Australia’s proposed ‘Kyoto carryover’ – nature, scale, implications, legal issues and environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement

Under the Paris Agreement, Australia has committed to reduce its emissions by 26- 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. Australia is now considering whether to count what it portrays as “overachievement” under the Kyoto protocol, toward its emission reduction commitment (Nationally Determined Contribution, or NDC) for 2030 under the Paris Agreement. This paper, commissioned by the Australia Institute, explores the rule set giving rise to Australia’s claim of this “overachievement”, and concludes that it would not be legitimate or defensible — from a factual, legal or equity perspective — for Australia to use Kyoto Protocol “overachievement” toward its Paris Agreement NDC. Press release

11 Dec – Article 6 needs ambition, not time wasting

Existing market mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol have accrued an available supply of some 4.65 Gt CO2 worth of carbon offsets, largely allocated to China, India, and Brazil. Were these credits to be rolled over into the mechanisms outlined by Article 6 of the Paris agreement, nearly 40% of existing ambition outlined by countries in their NDCs would be wiped away.

11 Dec – Pre-2020 commitments and the need for more ambitious NDCs

By 2020, Parties to the Paris Agreement are expected to enhance their mitigation commitments for the period to 2030, by submitting updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). About 10 years ago, many of these Parties submitted mitigation actions for 2020 as an outcome of COP15 in Copenhagen. With an outlook to updated NDC, this briefing assesses how Parties are expected to do in terms of achieving their 2020 target and the implications for their post-2020 emissions trajectories.

10 Dec – Climate Action Tracker: Governments still showing little sign of acting on climate crisis

The Climate Action Tracker’s 2019 annual update – in the face of the growing climate emergency, governments seem determined to continue embracing fossil fuels, and even meeting their Paris Agreement pledges would see warming of 2.8˚C by the end of this century.

10 Dec – A reminder for the ‘Blue COP’ – limiting warming to 1.5°C crucial for protecting oceans and ocean services

Ocean systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change and are already heavily impacted today. This briefing provides an overview of the latest science including from the latest IPCC special reports on key risks for ocean systems including from sea-level rise, ocean acidification and impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems. The analysis underscores the need to limit warming below 1.5°C to limit impacts on ocean systems. It is clearer than ever that exceeding that warming level will fundamentally affect ocean systems and undermine any other attempts to protect them. Limiting warming to 1.5°C remains of paramount importance to safeguard the oceans.

10 Dec – The dangers of blue carbon offsets: from hot air to hot water?

As the interest in using nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change grows, ‘blue carbon,’ which means carbon sequestered in coastal ecosystems, is also garnering attention. A number of countries have proposed including blue carbon in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and there is growing interest among some governments and fossil fuel companies in blue carbon as an offset mechanism. This briefing unpacks the key challenges and risks associated with the blue carbon concept by considering three key questions. What is the real potential of blue carbon as a mitigation measure? To what extent is carbon storage in coastal ecosystems threatened by current and future climate impacts? And is there a danger that focus on blue carbon could detract from reducing emissions from fossil fuel use?

2 Dec – Greenhouse gas accounting metrics under the Paris Agreement

The commonly agreed metric to aggregate emissions and removals of greenhouse gases under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement is the Global Warming Potential with a 100-year time-horizon (GWP100). Since the Agreement was adopted, new scientific concepts emerged, such as GWP*. This briefing looks at the pitfalls of applying this new metric.

2 Dec – How can Paris Agreement commitments be improved now to close the gap to 1.5°C

The current level of near-term emissions reductions governments put forward in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) is not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C, and puts the world on track for almost double that limit. If not enhanced, these NDCs would put the 1.5°C limit out of reach. This report looks into what level of change is needed to bring the next round of NDCs, due in 2020, in line with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal.