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UNFCCC Warsaw

Carbon Markets ‘Toolbox’ Could Create Global Standards

UNFCCC WarsawDeveloped countries are considering Poland’s proposal for a carbon markets “toolbox” that would help nations set common standards and accounting rules to unify the world’s cap-and-trade systems.

The idea also involves a platform for sharing best practices, and would aim to craft trading rules for a global market, Reuters reports. New Zealand climate change ambassador Jo Tyndall said it is a good idea to discuss such unification now.

But poorer nations argued that such discussion is premature, and the ongoing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting should instead focus on how needed emissions reductions will be split between more developed and less developed countries.

Over 40 nations have carbon markets or are in the process of creating them. The proportion of global emissions subject to carbon pricing is projected to grow from about 8 percent last year to about 33 percent in 2035, according to the International Energy Agency’s 2013 World Energy Outlook, out this week.

But Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has just unveiled legislation to repeal the country’s carbon tax, fulfilling a key election pledge.

More about carbon trading can be found in EL Insights Issue 24, Carbon Markets.

Takeaway: If instituted, the “toolbox” could further such carbon market linkages as we’ve seen tentatively established between California and Quebec, and between Australia and Europe. But firm commitments are a rare outcome for a UNFCCC meeting.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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