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UNFCCC Conference of the Parties moves to Glasgow

The Chile-Madrid COP 25 finished in the early hours of Sunday 15 December. However, the guidance and rules for the use of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement that covers market-based measures remains unresolved. Those countries who want to take advantage of Internationally Transferable Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) as part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), will have to wait until COP26 in Glasgow to have clarity and certainty.

During the negotiations, a new concept came to the fore: Overall Mitigation Global Emissions (OMGEs) - the concept that in any market transfer, the outcome should be more ambitious than a net-zero trade and GHG emissions overall should go down. Essentially, some proportion of the trade would need to be retired or surrendered.

COP 25 was not just about Article 6. It took the opportunity to explore scientific learnings from the two most recent IPCC special reports on “Climate Change and Land”, and on the “Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”. Natural climate solutions featured as a theme, focusing on how society can best use nature, both on land and in the oceans, as well as technology, to accelerate mitigation of greenhouse gases and enhance ambition. This is a cross-cutting topic covering aspects of land-use, property rights, biodiversity, water utilization, employment, human rights, indigenous peoples and gender.

Sustainable shipping was also discussed, building on the initial GHG reduction strategy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). COP 25 raised the profile of the Niulakita High Ambition Declaration for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector.

Signatory Parties now have the opportunity to raise ambitions in the run up to COP 26 and submit revised NDCs alongside mid-century strategies, with 77 countries having already pledged to be net-zero by 2050. The UN Secretary General announced the second special climate summit in New York in September 2020 aiming to draw new commitments.

  • 16 December 2019

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