8. What was the carbon market disagreement at COP25?
The regulation of carbon markets is inscribed in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The unprecedented two-day extension of COP25 was due to discussions generated around this controversial sixth numeral. Despite the extra time they could not reach an agreement. The same happened at COP24. Now the controversy was postponed to COP26, Glasgow2020 where, in addition, the Paris Agreement will be activated.
The issue that TIME reported is so serious: “Many climate activists say that the Article 6 negotiations could undermine the whole objective of the Paris Agreement.”
Environmentalists fear the “double accounting” of emission reductions if the rules of article 6 are not clearly written. All countries have emission reduction objectives. That means that if a “A” country reduces its carbon emissions by one ton, for example, through a clean energy scheme, it could be tempted to sell a reduction credit to a “B” country and account for the reduction in Your own goal. Which would amount to a scam, whose victims would be all living beings that inhabit the Earth.
“The final stretch of the negotiation, according to the newspaper El País, was led by the confrontation between Brazil – interested in being able to use the largest number of emission credits it has generated since the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol – and the European Union, concerned that its emission rights market may be flooded with these types of credits if strict controls are not set ”.
In this way, the Minister of the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, focuses on the problem: “At this moment, one of the most important obstacles is to define the rules that should be applied to world trade systems, how we move the units that they were marketed with the Kyoto protocol to the units with which they could be marketed, if we achieve rules so that they can work in the Paris agreement”.
In Madrid, two issues had to be clarified basically: first, to guarantee the approval of rules that avoid double counting of the gas reductions achieved; and, secondly, to define what is done with the existing rights so far (generated by the Kyoto protocol, which have preceded the Paris agreement).
China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Australia pushed for the transfer of all Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) generated from the Kyoto protocol to the new stage of the Paris agreement. (Obtained from clean development projects, such as investments in renewable energy facilities, modernization in industrial plants or restoration in forest areas). That position was rejected by 100 countries.