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Trading Carbon : December - January 2011
S07 DURBAN ROUNDTABLE Dec 2011/Jan 2012 term, while caps on emissions will come through domestic emissions trading regimes. JH: The UNFCCC still plays a valuable role in addressing climate change -- particularly through its assistance programmes and in developing criteria and procedures for ensuring transparency in meeting financing and mitigation pledges. Nowadays, however, with a comprehensive new agreement several years away, it is incumbent on major emitters -- as well as on other areas like shipping and aviation that don't fit neatly into individual countries' responsibilities -- to begin now the shift to a low- carbon economy. Fortunately, real progress in addressing climate change is taking place at the national, regional and local levels, creating a world of bottom-up actions addressing climate change. FL: Yes, but unless something tangible comes out of Durban, it might not be the case for much longer. The voluntary market is growing, major players, such as China and Japan, are coming up with their own approaches based on local/bilateral mechanisms and there is a growing sense that the system is "stuck". PD: Of course, in a more fragmented world, bilateral agreements will become more important. At a global level, as long as climate negotiations are not mainstreamed into other major international issues, such as growth, monetary, trade, and customs tariffs issues, their results will be disappointing. Climate issues need to be disc ussed at the G20, the World Trade Organization, the IMF etc. But the UNFCCC is indispensable for discussing and stating r ules, such as MRV, and providing a framework for project-based mechanisms, in order to ensure a tonne is a tonne. GP: Yes, because it's the only international for um and, therefore, the only one with the potential to ensure that MRV provisions remain harmonised across the nascent emission reductions policies and measures that are being developed. It is essential that we stick to the concept that a tonne is tonne and that we report this transparently. Then it is feasible that national schemes can develop, enter into bilateral agreements and then, ultimately, start to merge. We don't have time to start with a wide range of different carbon currencies and wait for them to start to merge. We need to stay on the path of one single carbon currency, even if programmes are developed at a national rather than international level. LA: It has to be. But the private sector for ums plus efforts to strategically contribute towards specific building blocks under the UNFCCC and relate this in other for ums are fast emerging as politically important as well. JP: The world needs all parties. UNFCCC is the only framework that brings all the positions of all the parties. Q: Anything else you would like to add that has not been raised by the previous questions? FL: I expect trade considerations will play an ever increasing role in the international climate change arena. Whether driven by policy -- such as aviation (in the EU) -- by private sector attempts to get ahead of regulation or by consumer demands, carbon and consumption are bound to become more directly and visibly linked. MW: I think that going forward we will now see the emergence of domestic trading regimes and other measures that, over time, will link together through trading carbon offset and scheme units and in some cases be reinforced through bilateral agreements. It is the move to a bottom up not top down approach. l It would be more efficient to strengthen the private sector's commitment by creating a framework for their investment Benoit Leguet, CDC Climat Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action UNFCCC body tasked with discussions on greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and adaptation measures outside the Kyoto Protocol talks. CDM Executive Board UN committee that administers and oversees the Clean Development Mechanism. Green Climate Fund A fund agreed under the Copenhagen Accord/ Cancun agreements as an operating entity of the fnancial mechanism of the UNFCCC to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation including REDD+, adaptation capacity-building and technology development and transfer. MRV Monitoring, reporting and verifcation; term for rules for assessing GHG emissions and reductions from projects and schemes. NAMAs Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions are voluntary measures taken by developing countries to reduce or slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. REDD+ Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation including the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. Selective glossary of terms