Perspectives made great accomplishments at COP26 in Glasgow, with over 26 presentations and two hugely successful COP follow-up webinars
Updates on key projects and latest events
600 participants listen to Perspectives summary of the COP26 outcome just 36 hours after the formal closure of the negotiations
The best attended event in Perspectives’ 18 year company history brought together over 600 participants to our post-COP26 webinar on 15 November 2021. Due to our expert team following each key negotiation strand on the ground, we were able to offer a full overview of the results of COP26 in Glasgow less than two days after its end, and before any detailed analysis was available from any other source. Over 100 questions from the audience showed the extremely strong interest in key technical issues, such as the impact of the decisions on the international carbon market on the voluntary carbon market. The success of this webinar has led us to offer a commercial deep-dive, 3 hour webinar on the Article 6 decisions of COP 26 on 8 December 2021. 80 participants paying fees of 350€/ 75€, respectively, discussed on details of accounting, transition from the Clean Development Mechanism and the two approaches for the voluntary market now possible through Article 6. The audience was truly global, ranging from “old hands” to newcomers.
Perspectives and South Pole launch gH2 Initiative for VCS methodology approval
Perspectives is currently launching a new initiative to enable green hydrogen projects to benefit from international carbon markets, the gH2+ Initiative. It aims closing the current gap regarding the (non-)availability of hydrogen-specific methodologies required to generate carbon credits. The gH2+ Initiative will initially develop a comprehensive set of hydrogen-methodologies under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the world’s leading GHG crediting program, which is managed by the environmental non-profit organization (NGO) Verra. The generated knowledge may then also inform approaches under the new Art. 6 mechanisms. The gH2+ Initiative will cover a wide range of hydrogen production-, transport-, storage-, and utilization technologies that are underpinned by real use cases from industry. Environmental integrity will be at the heart of the gH2+ Initiative. It will have a strong focus on green hydrogen projects, as we believe that a successful global energy transition requires rapid ramp-up of renewable hydrogen. At the same time, it will be open for other low-carbon hydrogen options, thoroughly considering their climate benefits and footprints. The gH2+ Initiative plans is scheduled to start operations in April 2022, and to elaborate the methodological principles by fall 2022. First methodologies are to be developed by end 2022/early 2023. The gH2+ Initiative welcomes the participation of new partners in its efforts to scale up climate action through innovative technological solutions. If you are interested to join, please get in touch with: email@example.com
Perspectives co-authored COP26 Catalyst recommendations on carbon market capacity building
Throughout 2021, Perspectives supported the “COP26 Catalyst for Climate Action” initiated by the UK COP26 Presidency. The Catalyst brought together key stakeholders engaged in capacity building in four fields of action under the Paris Agreement. Perspectives led the carbon market action group and drafted the recommendations on capacity building for inclusive and ambitious global carbon market participation. These recommendations build on key lessons with past carbon markets and Article 6 pilots to consider when preparing governments and other stakeholders to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. We were thrilled to see the efforts of the COP26 Catalyst welcomed in the Glasgow Climate Pact! If you agree with the recommendations, sign up to the call for action.
Perspectives team supported negotiators of four countries at COP26
At COP26, Perspectives’ team supported delegates from Honduras, Sweden, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates in the day-to-day technical negotiations at the UNFCCC conferences in matters that related to carbon markets and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, the enhanced transparency framework, climate finance negotiations, common time frames, inputs to the Global Stocktake, the global goal on adaptation and loss and damage! We were pleased that several of our inputs are reflected in the final outcome on international carbon markets. These technical discussions matter- they influence national rulemaking and vice versa, they ensure that national experiences with implementation are fed back to the decision-making level. We are convinced that details of the “Paris Agreement rulebook” are key to ensure that shiny pledges result in real implementation. Count us in to follow up in these items ahead of and at the next UNFCCC negotiations meeting in June 2022 in Bonn!
Perspectives’ Axel Michaelowa COP26 activities featured by German newspaper Frankfurter
Journalist Timo Steppat from the leading German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung accompanied Axel Michaelowa’s activities in the second week of COP26 in Glasgow. In a full-page feature published on 13 November 2021, Axel’s and Perspectives’ approach to addressing climate change through support of several government delegations at COP was compared with young African activist Kevin Mtai’ activities to generate pressure on leaders. The feature concluded that both approaches have their value in advancing international climate policy. Read the full article here.
Axel Michaelowa discusses COP26 outcomes with German Klima-Union
40 members of the Klima-Union which brings together members of the German Christian Democrat party (CDU) interested in climate protection listened to Axel Michaelowa’s overview of COP26 on 2 December 2021. The discussion focused on the credibility of CDM transition and the role of cities in climate protection. In the general election held in Germany, the CDU lost to the social democrats; since then the party is seeking to sharpen its profile.
Axel Michaelowa provides brown bag lunch talk on the international carbon markets outcome of COP26 to IRENA
30 staff members of the International Renewable Energy Agency were briefed by Perspectives on 22 November 2021 regarding the consequences of the Article 6 negotiations outcome for renewable energy. In his brown bag lunch talk, Axel Michaelowa stressed that renewable energy developers need to understand that not all their projects will qualify for Article 6. Support through revenues of credit sales becomes particularly important for renewable energy activities in second or third class sites that otherwise would not be viable. Moreover, he advised that in contrast to the CDM now all national policy instruments need to be considered when setting the baseline and testing for additionality.
Axel Michaelowa presents on COP26 results at ETH Zurich VCS Sustainability Commission
On 22 November 2021, Axel Michaelowa presented the COP outcomes to the Association of Chemical Students (VCS) at the Swiss Federal University of Technology ETH in Zurich. The 20 participants were highly interested in opportunities to participate in future COPs as observers. They noted that the media had portrayed the COP outcome much more negatively and did not focus on the actual rules set.
Perspectives’ assessment of carbon market outcome at COP26 taken up by German newspaper “Tagesspiegel”
While most media have seen the outcome of COP26 as disappointing, Perspectives thinks it is an excellent foundation for implementation of the Paris Agreement, especially regarding international carbon markets. In a guest commentary for the important German capital newspaper “Tagesspiegel” published 3 December 2021, Axel Michaelowa summarizes why the outcome of Article 6 negotiations is an important milestone towards reaching the ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement. Read the full article here.
COP Side event: Harnessing Synergies between Carbon Markets and Climate Finance for Achieving Ambitious NDCs
Stephan Hoch introduced the panel, which focused on providing a comprehensive overview of Senegal’s NDC and the role of carbon markets and climate finance. Panelists spoke about past carbon finance projects in Senegal, the role of the GCF and ASEA, and the work of Climate Finance Innovators project. Speakers highlighted the importance of peer-to-peer and South-South learning, clarity in Art. 6 and transparency negotiations, and resolving questions surrounding conditionality of NDC targets and corresponding adjustments. The session ended with a discussion of the role of the private sector and outlooks on COP26. To this end, speakers highlighted the need for long-term outlooks for the private sector, a clear Art. 6 agreement, a clear signal to the private sector for further involvement, revenue for adaptation and activities to increase ambition. Watch the full recording here.
Perspectives co-leads German ministry-funded CDR PoEt project
The German research ministry-funded research project CDR-PoEt analyses policy instruments for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and their performance against key governance principles – including regarding fairness. Under the co-lead of Freiburg University and Perspectives Climate Research, the research partners Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Climate Analytics, Adelphi and practice partners examine economic, socio-cultural and institutional dimensions of feasibility of CDR approaches to develop policy-relevant insights for the local and (inter) national level. CDR-PoEt bases its work on long-established governance principles and considers the views of stakeholders at all research steps through a deliberative process. Thus, the project team seeks to advance deliberative societal learning and jointly develop a basis for the responsible design of policies as well as research and innovation. The project team applies and grounds its theoretical considerations in three practical CDR cases: direct CO2 capture from the air and its storage (DACCS), use of biomass with CO2 capture and storage, and agroforestry approaches.
What is the role for agriculture and forestry in international carbon markets? Perspectives webinar for FAO
Staff from various departments of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations were briefed by Perspectives on 7 December 2021 on the opportunities international carbon markets under Article 6 generate for agriculture and forestry. Axel Michaelowa stressed the importance of permanence as a key principle under Article 6 and how it could be implemented concretely. He provided recommendations how agricultural extension services could be harnessed as key capacity building institutions to enable farmers to engage in Article 6 activities. He also elaborated on the key role of monitoring and reporting in building trust among buyers that credits from agriculture and forestry have the same quality than credits from technical mitigation. The links between Article 6 and voluntary carbon markets which have been important for agriculture and forestry were also discussed in depth, particularly in the context of REDD+.
CMM-WG end of year workshop
In a workshop on 24 November 2021, 35 members of the Carbon Market Mechanisms Working Group digested the COP26 outcomes on rules for market-based cooperation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The Working Group identified several areas for continuing discussions on how to operationalise principles in order to ensure robust approaches to international carbon markets in 2022, including accounting, reporting and review, developing methodological approaches and ensuring a smooth transition of high quality CDM activities. With the Article 6 rulebook adopted, the work on implementing high integrity approaches gets new impetus. More information on the working group can be found here. If you are interested to join the working group, please get in touch.
REDD+ in German development cooperation – success or failure? Discussion with Green parliamentarians
A freshly elected group of parliamentarians of the German Green party, which is part of the new German governing coalition, discussed about the pros and cons of avoided deforestation, or REDD+, with Axel Michaelowa on 6 December 2021. The discussion led by MP Jan-Niclas Gesenhues focused on the outcomes of a study undertaken for the German evaluation institute DEVAL by Perspectives on the performance of REDD+ projects funded by the German development cooperation. Axel Michaelowa stressed that initially it was believed that REDD+ could rapidly mobilize large emissions reductions but that practice on the ground showed that addressing the drivers of deforestation is much more difficult than expected and that carefully set up preparatory activities are necessary conditions to eventually generate emissions reductions. Ensuring permanence was critical to generate trust in REDD+ as a valuable tool of international climate policy.
Perspectives experts exchange with the minister of environment of Gabon on forestry and Article 6
On 4 November 2021, a group of Perspectives’ nature based solutions and Article 6 experts discussed with Lee White, minister of environment of the African rainforest nation Gabon on key aspects of international carbon markets for the potential sale of credits from rainforest protection. Perspectives noted with appreciation that Gabon envisages to request credits only for carbon sequestration in forest biomass that exceeds business-as-usual increase of carbon stocks in Gabonese forests. Minister White was also keenly aware of the importance of additionality in assessing forest protection activities. Overall, Gabon seems well placed for a leadership position on piloting avoided deforestation under Article 6.
Successful Perspectives side event on national readiness for Article 6 and high-quality features of international carbon markets co-organized with the government of Vietnam
On 10 November 2021, Perspectives’ official UNFCCC side event co-hosted with the government of Vietnam attracted 60 participants to discuss linkage of domestic and international carbon markets and the need for stringent regulation of the latter, especially concerning baseline setting. Philipp Censkowsky presented the outcome of our study on the volume of unused CDM credits, which played a relevant role in the decision of COP26 to allow transition of credits from projects registered after 2012. The Vietnamese co-hosts laid out their plans for domestic carbon markets and the linking with Article 6, complemented by an input from UNEP DTU’s Karen Olsen on developing a dynamic baseline for Vietnam. Regina Betz from ZHAW in Switzerland presented results of a research project on regulation of international carbon markets, while CEEW’s Arunabha Ghosh discussed different approaches to CDM transition.
Igor Shishlov and Axel Michaelowa present on carbon taxes and Article 6 rules at Peruvian policymaker workshop
On 3 December 2021, Igor Shishlov and Axel Michaelowa gave an overview on carbon taxes and carbon pricing in general, as well as the Article 6 outcomes at COP26 to officials from the Peruvian Ministries of Economy and Environment, as well as staff of Peruvian parliamentarians. The workshop was organized by the well-known Peruvian think tank Libelula. Several bills on carbon taxation were introduced in the last Peruvian parliament, but no legislation has been adopted to date.
The CCS+ Initiative, launched in June 2021 and aiming to advance carbon accounting for the full suite of CCS activities, was recently featured in a number of international events. In his role as Secretary General of the CCS+ Initiative, Perspectives Climate Group’s Managing Director Matthias Krey, one of the co-founders of the CCS+ Initiative co-leading its Secretariat and the development of the methodologies, presented CCS+ in an event at the North America Climate Summit highlighting the need for unlocking the carbon credit potential for emission reductions and removals through CCS. The panel, moderated by IETA, featured speakers from Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, Northern Lights and Carbon Finance Lab. At the Carbon Capture Technology Expo in Bremen, Matthias introduced the CCS+ Initiative to a more exclusive professional audience stressing the rationale behind the Initiative and also the relevance of CCS+-related crediting activities for industrial and political stakeholders.
Finally, CCS+ was also presented at IETA’s Business Hub at COP26 in Glasgow. Featuring speakers from Perspectives, South Pole, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, Verra and Valence Solutions the event discussed the importance of how communicating regimes could be leveraged for monetising carbon removals. To find out more about the CCS+ initiative, its rationale and objective as well as current member structure and planned outputs, visit their website.
#NordicDialogue on Voluntary Compensation
The Nordic Dialogue on Voluntary Compensation, which was launched in June 2021 with funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers, has been highly active in the last months, culminating in the establishment of a working group, the launch of a Nordic report on voluntary compensation and several events at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. The initiative has been recognised as one of the initiatives shaping the future of the voluntary carbon market alongside initiatives such as the Science-Based Targets initiative, the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative.
The Dialogue’s working group
On 13 October 2021, the Nordic Dialogue on Voluntary Compensation Working Group (WG) got together for its first meeting. The WG comprises 23 representatives of key stakeholder groups from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway andSweden. The mandate of the WG is to support the Dialogue in co-creating the draft Nordic Code of Best Practice and the draft Action Plan for a Nordic approach on voluntary compensation. Through a successful first meeting, the WG demonstrated its willingness to work together to promote the high integrity, transparency and harmonsiation of voluntary compensation and alignment with the principles and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Nordic report on key concepts and guidance on voluntary compensation
On 28 October 2021, the Nordic report on key concepts and guidance on Voluntary Compensation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions was released. The report contributes to the Dialogue’s efforts to foster a common understanding of key terms and concepts among Nordic stakeholders, and provides the basis for the Dialogue’s work going forward. Read the full report here. Key messages from the report were presented at the report release event, as well as views of the Nordic public and private stakeholders. The slides and recordings of the sessions can be accessed here.
Nordic Dialogue at COP26
On the 9 November 2021, the Nordic Dialogue on Voluntary Compensation, in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers co-hosted a side event at the Nordic COP26 Pavilion “Towards and beyond carbon neutrality – What role for voluntary carbon markets?”. The event brought together leading international and Nordic experts from Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative, the Task Force on Net Zero Goals and Carbon Pricing, Nordea and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation to explore key concepts relating to carbon neutrality and net zero, focusing on the role of non-state actors and the use of voluntary carbon markets.
Read more about the Dialogue’s side event as well as other COP26 carbon market highlights in this blog post, and watch the recording of the event. Apart from following the COP26 negotiations closely, the Dialogue was also invoved in two other COP26 side events: “Nordic Climate Neutrality and Market Mechanisms” organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers and NEFCO (watch recording of side event here) and “Buyer and Seller Perspectives: Challenges and Opportunities for the Voluntary Carbon Market” organized by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment.
Next, the Dialogue’s focus will lie on the co-creation of the draft Nordic Code of Best Practice and the draft action plan for a Nordic approach for voluntary compensation, together with Nordic stakeholders, by April 2022. The drafts will be published in April 2022. Are you interested in closely following the new developments under the Dialogue? Then join the Dialogue’s network by subscribing here!
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