New Zealand, in the waning minutes of the Paris climate summit, issued a declaration supporting carbon markets, in a move backed by 17 countries and aimed at boosting lawmaker and investor confidence in the future of emissions trading schemes.
New Zealand, one of the five or six countries that have so far said it will rely on access to international carbon units to meet its 2030 climate pledge, worked on the sidelines of the Paris talks to drum up support for its declaration.
The statement, read by New Zealand negotiator Kay Harrison late on Saturday after the Paris Agreement had been agreed, was endorsed by Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Senegal, Ukraine and the United States.
The declaration read as follows:
“We warmly welcome the Paris Agreement and particularly its recognition of voluntary cooperation between parties in delivering their nationally determined mitigation contributions.
We highlight the important role international market mechanisms will play in enhancing mitigation ambition and facilitating the delivery of mitigation contributions under the Paris Agreement.
We are committed to environmental integrity, transparency and the avoidance of double-counting when market mechanisms are used.
Through this declaration we want to send a clear signal to the global carbon market and provide certainty that there is an important role for markets in the post-2020 period.
We will work together to ensure the development of standards and guidelines for the environmental integrity of international market mechanisms used towards nationally determined mitigation contributions.
We are committed to the timely delivery of these standards and guidelines which we will encourage other parties to support and apply to complement the Paris Agreement and with the ultimate aim of strengthening action under the UNFCCC.”
Pledges tabled by more than 80 countries indicate they are open to using carbon markets to help them meet their goals.
“Countries, and investors, will have more confidence in the market if it is underpinned by robust standards. New Zealand is leading the way to bring interested countries together to work on these standards,” said outgoing New Zealand Climate Change Minister Tim Groser.
In the early stages of the Paris talks there were questions raised over whether language supporting emissions trading would make it into the final agreement, as some Latin American and Middle Eastern nations strongly opposed it while major parties such as China, the EU and the US gave limited priority to the issue.
In the end, the final text included a framework that allows for international carbon trading, which will be supported by a new mechanism.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org