As the Pacific emits less than 0.06% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, this means the Pacific may not be able to fully participate in carbon market trading – however, the island region is taking a strong interest and the lead in Article 6. The negotiation of market and non-market approaches in the Paris Agreement Rulebook.
Article 6 is the most contentious issue, which could make or break the Rulebook to be finalised in Glasgow. This is a priority area for the Pacific islands small islands developing states who want to ensure that Environmental Integrity is secure and a fundamental part of the future carbon market trading systems.
Carbon market trading is when countries that have gone over their allocated quota of emissions can purchase remaining emissions from those countries that use less than their allocated quota.
“Our PSIDS may not be prominent in the carbon market regime, but this is still a crucial component of the negotiations for us that the rules ensure we reach 1.5,” said Hon Steven Victor, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment of Palau.
Minister Victor is also the Pacific High Level and Alliance of Small Islands States Champion of this component in the negotiations participating in a range of ministerial consultations to ensure key text is included in the final document at COP26.
“We still play a key role here in making sure the text is secure and does not allow for any loopholes for people to double the counting of the reduced greenhouse gas emissions. We must make sure our voice is heard here when we create the rules, ultimately this process must be aligned to a 1.5 goal.”
There are three key areas that the Pacific Islands are gearing towards. The PSIDS would like to see the Overall Mitigation Greenhouse Emissions bring into play a global inventory whereby every Party shows greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced together.
“We also want to share that we are cancelling our emissions by 30%, if we do that, then we can reach 1.5-degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement promised ambition, we want that to be reflected through cuts by 30%,” said Minister Victor.
“Otherwise, we won’t be achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement.”
Increased climate financing for Adaptation has been a message shared time and time again at COP26, as the Pacific islands region has amplified its voice. When it comes to Article 6 the PSIDS are calling for 5% of the share of proceeds from trading to go towards supporting adaptation in vulnerable countries.
Under the Kyoto Protocols Clean Development Mechanism 2% was applied which went to the Adaptation Fund, an increase of 5% would help address the growing adaptation needs of those now adaptation to climate change.
“We in our Pacific are struggling to keep up with adaptation efforts, as the climate impacts worsen so does the need for more financing so we can adapt, the pool of money made available to us in the Adaptation Fund must grow,” said Minister Victor.
“As we lag our feet on making a real difference to lower global temperatures, the effects of climate change will grow. A 5% increase in share of proceeds will help us adapt.”
And so, with the text now out just days before the close of COP26 ministerial consultations are taking place to secure a Paris Rulebook that does align with the promise of the Paris Agreement. Article 6 was the make or break of this Rulebook at COP24 and 25, here in Glasgow at COP26 text must be finalised.
For the Pacific islands, environmental integrity is one area of Article 6 that they are not willing to compromise.
“Environmental integrity is what will ensure these carbon markets and non-markets are actually making an impact. It’s where we play a role in making sure that any engagement or transfer of carbon market units must lower global emissions, otherwise what is the point?” asked Minister Victor.
“We must make sure that there is no double-counting of reduced carbon, we must not see a carryover of units from that of the Kyoto Protocol and the transition of only the vulnerable project activities from the Clean Development Mechanism. We must stand our ground in this, it’s for our Pacific survival.”
The Twenty-Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change is held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
To learn more about Article 6 please visit: https://climateanalytics.org/publications/2021/analysis-of-options-for-determining-omge-sop-and-transition-within-article-6/