SHARM EL SHEIKH (SPREP) — Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is one of the thematic priorities for Pacific countries at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharma El-Sheikh, Egypt.
The article allows countries to voluntarily cooperate with each other to achieve emission reduction targets set out in their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). This means that, under Article 6, a country (or countries) will be able to transfer carbon credits earned from the reduction of GHG emissions to help one or more countries meet climate targets.
At the end of the first week of COP27, we caught up the Pacific lead coordinator of this issue, Xavier Matsutaro, of Palau, who gives us a rundown on the state of play.
Q: Let’s go back to the sunny shores of the Pacific and start from there. Matsutaro. What did the Pacific want come into COP27?
A: For the Pacific, we are very keen on this COP27 to flush out the rules and iron out any gaps in it. There are two things. Firstly, we really want to make sure that overall mitigation of global emission, the net emission reduction aspect of the market, is robustly embedded in the rulebook.
Secondly, the share of proceeds from adaption is really important to us. We want to ensure it works out mechanically well, so we receive the support we need, without any delay. These are the things we are ironing out and then fundamentally as a basis, is the environmental integrity aspect. We want to ensure that we put in place accounting rules to avoid double counting so that people are not selling the same credits and making more money from them.
We want reporting to be practical and robust enough so that transparency is built in so we know there is integrity within what is being done in the markets, with that having really good accounting rules so you can track these emission reduction credits across boundaries.
Q: Now we are in Sharma El-Sheikh, how are the negotiations going? What is the latest development?
A: The negotiations is a difficult process as you can appreciate. These negotiations are never straight forward. The latest development on Article 6 is discussions about developing a Board on how 6.2 would be operationalised. This is an important discussion. This Board could either be party-elected and driven so that you’ll have a balance of developed and developing countries within that board, or you can elect experts from the market and be part of that technical board. There was consensus that we wanted it to be a technical Board so that we elect the experts, and they do the work and report to us. This is mainly because we don’t want the bureaucracy between the parties that would delay and make this function of the system inefficient.
Q: At the end of the first week of COP27, and with the new developments, there is a lot of work to be done. What do Pacific delegates need to do to achieve our asks in relation to Article 6?
A: Fundamentally for the Pacific, it is about building our capacity. That’s where it starts. The further you go on one side the more technical it gets, this is what the panelists during the discussions have been saying, because the markets can be very, very complex.
So for us, first and foremost it’s about getting informed as a starting point, learn to take advantage if you’re from the civil service, take advantage of Article 6 workshops and training programmes so we can start to unpack and understand better how these rules work so that if you do decide to participate, you’re going in there knowing the sequences and steps to be had in order to qualify your participation as an Article 6 project, and that you actually are able to make use of it to benefit our communities. It shouldn’t be something that causes more burden, but it should be a supplementation you can utilise and for it to be as easy and meaningful as possible. I think in order to get there is to first get informed, turn up and so you know how to utilise it best when you do decide to enter.
Q: Looking at the big picture of COP27, including Article 6, what are your thoughts on COP27?
A: We’re going to pass the 1.5 target if we don’t do anything drastically, so we need to apply pressure as much as possible, utilising our climate champions and our heads of states to set the tone. We must always keep in mind the people who are most vulnerable and susceptible to the climate changes which is why we are doing this. Mitigation is extremely important and although this is supposed to be an implementation COP, we are not seeing a lot of implementations to the level and scale that is needed. So, we have to push even harder this time around to apply pressure so we can get an outcome that looks much better than where we are now.
The 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022……PACNEWS