Half time at COP 17?
So it's now the first day of week two and things have certainly got busier. The queues have got significantly longer but to make up for any delays in getting into proceeding, the weather has got significantly better, so with the sun shining… delegates remain hopeful of some kind of breakthrough with regards to the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and a road map to a future climate change agreement.
??At this point, after what can only be described as a fairly flat week, things look like they might be picking up. In particular there has been a lot of communication coming out with regards to an agreement to a second commitment period of the KP by the European Union (EU). This is on the basis that there will be progress on improved environmental integrity, new market mechanisms and a roadmap to an overarching agreement to become effective by 2020. What is especially encouraging at this point is that China seems to be supporting the proposal, having openly stated that it would be willing to join a post-2020 deal if there was resolution to the issues of technology transfer, finance, capacity, common but differentiated responsibility and equity.
??If the EU can get traction and support from other countries with regards to this proposal (and it seems to be moving in that direction) then maybe Durban can deliver some real progress, with the ultimate goal of a 2020 binding agreement being the end game. ??Although 2020 maybe some way off, developing a roadmap with established timelines and milestones has got to be a good thing. However, for carbon markets and the private sector to play a pivotal role in providing the necessary finance to reduce carbon emissions at scale then there has to be robust demand for the resulting offsets. At least these developments would help to shape a pathway for greater country ambition in terms of greenhouse gas cuts and therefore logically this would have an impact on demand.
??At the moment we can only keep our fingers crossed that the resulting COP17 developments are robust and don't become watered down to represent a much weaker political statement over the coming days.Rachel Mountain