European Capacity Building Initiative

Policy Briefs and Notes

Social responsibility is one of the key motivators of voluntary corporate action. It is therefore valuable to harness carbon markets to promote multiple co-benefits in addition to mitigation, including adaptation co-benefits, particularly if they promote global equity by generating resources to support those who suffer most from adverse impacts of climate change while having contributed least to causing it - for example through a Share of Proceeds for Adaptation (SOPA).

The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) thus has the unique opportunity to explore the value proposition that a SOPA can provide stakeholders. Given the political buy-in that SOPA can bring about, as observed during the CDM development, and the policy need to align with the provisions of the Paris Agreement, this OCP/ecbi Discussion Note recommends that ongoing efforts to improve the governance of the VCM should strive to:

  • encourage standard setters to promote a SOPA;
  • incorporate regulatory provisions for a SOPA into VCM as a key component of good governance and a high-level principle for the market, to ensure environmental and social non-carbon positive impacts; and
  • enhance coordination of supply and demand oversight efforts, to foster synergies towards effective SOPA implementation and delivery.
Author:
Benito Müller; Hanna-Marie Ahonen, Pedro Moura Costa, Daniel Ortega-Pacheco, Moekti (Kuki) Soejachmoen and Charlotte Streck
Publication Date:
March, 2022

This ecbi COP26 Key Outcomes report assesses the Glasgow Climate Summit on the level of political ambition it achieved as well as what it delivered on finance, loss and damage, transparency, common time frames, Article 6, and adaptation. It explains and evaluates key formal COP and CMA decisions, and the pledges and promises by various coalitions on issues ranging from coal to cars, methane to forests. The report suggests that Glasgow neither saved nor doomed us. While it failed to deliver enough political ambition and disappointed in several key areas, it arguably did enough to signal a shift away from business-as-usual. What’s more, COP26 finalised the Paris Rulebook, providing the tools needed to make more significant progress down-the-line. It also looks at what was left unfinished in Glasgow and what needs to happen in 2022 to maximise our chances of moving the needle at COP27 and beyond. 

Authored by experts with many years’ experience following the UNFCCC negotiations, the report features quotes and insights from ecbi’s network of negotiators and delegates who attended COP26.  

Author:
Aglaja Espelage, Axel Michaelowa, Benito Müller, Chris Spence, Christoph Schwarte
Publication Date:
January, 2022

This briefing paper examines the key equity issues in the current climate change negotiations leading to COP 15 in Copenhagen. In this connection the paper focuses on the negotiating text emerging from the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA). Under the “Bali Action Plan” the AWG-LCA is tasked to conduct “a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at its fifteenth session” (in Copenhagen in 2009).

Author:
Christoph Schwarte and Emily Massawa
Publication Date:
August, 2009

The issue of predictable finance is once again on the negotiation table at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP26) in Glasgow. Relevant – and highly contentious – is the issue of the applicability of Share of Proceeds (SoP) to the operationalisation of the different forms of market-based cooperation under the Paris Agreement (PA). 

Levying a Share of Proceeds (SoP) on mitigation units transferred on international carbon markets can be an important instrument to raise finance for adaptation measures in developing countries. An SoP was first introduced for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and under the Doha Amendment expanded to all market mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol (KP) – both for adaptation as well as for the funding of administrative costs. Now, notwithstanding that SoP is mentioned in the PA Article 6, how it is applied is a contentious issue in the negotiation in Article 6. 

This Policy Brief, funded by DANIDA and produced on behalf of ecbi by Oxford Climate Policy and Perspectives Climate Research, assesses the current debates surrounding SoP and its potential forms of implementation and makes recommendations for Article 6 negotiations regarding effective and efficient forms of SoP for adaptation and administrative costs. The final section considers ways in which funding predictability could be addressed through applying the idea of earmarking an SoP from the sale of mitigation units or carbon taxes at the regional, national, and sub-national level. North American and European examples are discussed, and it is concluded that multi-billion Euro funding could be generated by applying an SoP comparable to that of the KP mechanisms in this manner.

Author:
Aglaja Espelage, Axel Michaelowa, and Benito Müller with contributions by Kishan Kumarsingh
Publication Date:
November, 2021

This OCP/ecbi Discussion Note by Benito Müller looks at how the use of a ‘share of proceeds’ – referred to in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol and the Article 6 Mechanism of the Paris Agreement – could, as an innovative funding source, be extended to market mechanisms at the regional, national, and sub-national level.

Author:
Benito Müller
Publication Date:
September, 2021

This Technical Paper produced by OCP/ecbi for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) as part of their Strategic Partnership looks in some detail at the options under consideration in the negotiations on establishing a common time frame for the national targets (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, one of the three top priority issues to be resolved at COP 26 in Glasgow to finalise the Paris rule book.

 

It analyses them with regard to 3 procedural prerequisites for accounting and maximizing ambition under the Paris Agreement, namely:

·         synchronized NDC end-years, to allow for taking stock of implementation and assessment of collective progress under the 5-yearly Global Stock Takes, as well as other crucial accounting tasks, such as the avoidance of double counting under the Article 6 emission trading regime

·         synchronized 'updating' (ambition enhancement), and

·         a notification window – the time between the communication year and the end year of the preceding NDC – for (first-time) communications of at least 5 years, to maximize the potential of the synchronized ambition enhancement.

 

The resulting Key Message for Policy Makers sums up the analysis in a succinct summary of why it is essential to adopt the Glasgow Ambition Cycle at COP 26.

Author:
Benito Müller
Publication Date:
July, 2021

This brief history of Enhanced Direct Access traces the idea back to a number of historic precursors, such as the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) under the Marshall Plan, the World Bank Kecamatan Development Program in Indonesia, and the Brazilian Amazon Fund. It then follows how the idea evolved under the Bali Action Plan, the Transitional committee for the design of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and finally, the GCF Board, culminating in the establishment of a GCF. The second updated edition includes a summary account of EDA programmes that have been implemented under the UNFCCC/Paris Agreement Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund, as well as the French SUNREF (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) programme, and ends with a forward looking section on 'performance-based' EDA.

Author:
Laurel Murray and Benito Müller with contributions from Luis Gomez-Echeverri & Sophie De Coninck
Publication Date:
July, 2021

Sharing experiences – particularly on the merits of different legislative approaches, lessons learnt, and good practices – can help drive efficient and successful implementation of climate action on the ground, and ultimately more ambitious action under the Paris Agreement. This policy brief considers the experience of four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have completed or initiated the process of developing framework laws: Kenya (the first country in Africa to adopt a climate change framework law), Eswatini, Nigeria, and Uganda.

Author:
Constance Dlamini, Edward Wabwoto, Huzi Mshelia, Nkiruka Chidia Maduekwe, Bernard Namanya, and Pascale Bird
Publication Date:
March, 2021

As the global climate change negotiations shift to implementation mode, the institutions and process of the global negotiations will also have to adapt and become fit for purpose. This report proposes new arrangements that reflect this new role, particularly for the Conference of the Parties (COP). We propose that COPs should be slimmed-down in size considerably to deal with technical matters related to implementation. Political elements can be dealt with in processes outside the COPs that have already been established to support implementation on the ground – such as the Climate Action agenda, the Marrakech Partnership, the Regional Climate Weeks, and the technical meetings and workshops that support countries in formulating and implementing policies and measures in support of climate ambition.

Update: This report is referenced in the 27 October 2021 CarbonBrief UN Climate Talks Analysis: How delegations at COP climate summits have changed over time.

Author:
Benito Müller, Jen Allan, Matthias Roesti, and Luis Gomez-Echeverri with a Foreword by Marianne Karlsen, Chair of the SBI
Publication Date:
March, 2021

Bulk purchasing technology under the non-market approaches (NMAs) defined in Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement could help developing countries to reduce the costs of climate-friendly technology. This policy brief describes how such NMAs could allow groups of developing countries to drive down costs by pooling procurement, and using reverse auctioning to “discover” the lowest price.

Author:
Benito Müller, Axel Michaelowa & Anne-Kathrin Weber. Contributions from Diann Black-Layne, Rene Orellana Halkyer, and Saurabh Kumar
Publication Date:
March, 2021

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