COP21: Carbon pricing text agreed in climate deal

9th December 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Carbon Trading ,
  • Politics & Economics ,
  • Global



Agreement has been reached on the market mechanisms such as carbon pricing to be included in the deal on climate change being negotiated in Paris.

A small group of ministers led by Canada and the Democratic Republic of Congo met on Tuesday to focus on the issue. The proposed text includes provisions to link national emissions trading schemes and rules to account for the transfer of international emissions reduction units.

The proposals had been set out in a letter to UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) in October. IETA's director of international policy Jeff Swartz said: "The leadership shown here, particularly by the EU and Brazil, which worked together on the proposed text, is a positive step for the wider negotiations."

IETA stressed that the text is not a done deal and negotiations are ongoing.

Campaign groups spent yesterday pushing to get remaining issues into the draft climate deal as negotiations enter the final days. Over the past two days, negotiations have been mainly going on behind closed doors. There are eight groups looking at particular topics, including adaptation, forests and finance.

An international business group is calling for business to be specifically mentioned in the text of a deal. The Major Economies Business Forum on energy security and climate change, which comprises business groups from across the globe, including the US and Europe, is pushing for a climate agreement that recognises the role of the business community in tackling climate change.

Norine Kennedy, vice president of environment, energy and strategic international engagement at the US Council for International Business, said: "We're not looking for paragraphs and paragraphs but we want recognition that business is part of the solution."

There were references to business in previous versions of the draft agreement. However, the current draft does not specifically mention business anywhere, other than an implicit mention of private finance, she said: "It's not clear to us now how all the business initiatives are going to be mainstreamed. How do we keep the momentum going after Paris from non-state actors, whether it's cities, regions, other NGOs or business?"

Business involvement at COP21 was unprecedented and far higher than in any previous UNFCCC meetings and actions to tackle climate change would continue regardless, Kennedy said. However, this is the "tip of the iceberg" compared to what could be achieved if the working relationship with the business community was recognised by the UNFCCC, she added.

"We're not looking to negotiate, we understand very well that this is an inter-governmental process, we certainly see a tremendous benefit being able to inform the process, giving them access to technical expertise," she said.

A group of NGOs under the umbrella group Climate Action Network (CAN) is calling for the first review of national carbon emission reduction pledges to happen before 2020. The idea for regular reviews of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) is generally accepted, but there is disagreement over the detail, such as how often reviews would happen and when they would start.

The current draft text identifies 2024 as the starting point for reviews. But the NGOs argue that this would make it impossible for global temperature rises to stay within 2°C, let alone 1.5°C, for which there is growing political momentum at the COP after pleas from countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Many countries have signalled that they are open to including a goal for a 1.5°C aim in the text, including the US and the EU. Celine Charveriat, director of advocacy and campaigns at Oxfam, said: "Finally there is recognition that 1.5°C is the safe threshold for the world's poorest and most vulnerable. But this 1.5°C goal cannot be an empty shell. We cannot have a Paris outcome that does not have a pathway to reach that."

Saudi Arabia is actively opposing the 1.5°C goal, according to Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN. The kingdom is scared of the widespread growth of renewable energy, while its economy is still dependent on fossil fuels, he claimed.

A new text is due for publication at 1pm. Click here to see the draft text and other UNFCCC documents.

IEMA has been running a campaign in the run up to the talks #IEMANoCOPOut, including webinars on key issues. Click here to watch a webinar by Chris Large (partner at Global Action Plan) and Rebecca Vowles (Interserve Support Services - head of sustainability communities) on behaviour change.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform. I hope that you’ve had a good and productive few months so far.

28th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close