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IATP is part of the Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA). This year, IATP participated in CLARA’s Net Zero Files and in remote support of CLARA members in Glasgow at COP26, including on the Article 6 negotiations. In addition to releasing our own press release upon the conclusion of the COP26 negotations, IATP contributed to CLARA's statement in reaction to the end of COP26, see below. 

Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance Statement on Closing of COP 26

The science is clear: we are facing “Code Red for Humanity.” COP 26 started with soaring rhetoric promising to ‘keep 1.5 alive.’ Once again though, this COP has failed to listen to science and give credence to the peoples’ voices ringing outside the negotiating rooms of the COP and those taking to the streets calling for climate justice.

One bright spot, however, is the agreement on the Glasgow Committee on Non-Market Approaches and the forthcoming work program. CLARA is committed to seeing these approaches succeed in order to enable enhanced cooperation on mitigation and adaptation in order to provide communities with the support they need for climate action. But the market based mechanisms in the rest of Article 6 risk undermining real climate action with offsets that do nothing to enhance ambition to keep temperature rise below 1.5 (see more below).

Failures continue

Six years after adoption of the Paris Agreement, and more than a decade after the initial commitment, developed countries have failed to fulfill their climate finance pledge of $100 billion per year for the developing countries recognizing their historical responsibility for the climate crisis. Despite this continued failure, COP 26 did not bring with it new commitments or even a delivery plan to meet the pledge immediately or how to cover the shortfall.

The UK presidency, after spending much of this summer talking up the potential of COP 26, failed to persuade Parties to sufficiently raise ambition. There is no way to meet the Paris Agreement goals and say 1.5°C is still alive without reducing emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030. The outcome of this COP in no way demonstrates a real commitment to meet that crucial target.

Rich countries, especially the United States, once again blocked needed action to set up a financing mechanism for loss and damage. These parties fail to recognize their historic responsibility for the climate crisis and block needed ambition.

Calls for Equity, Ambition and Paradigm Shift

It is not new for a COP to witness a plethora of new pledges and commitments made by developed countries and various non-state actors, often using the COP premises, but outside the purview of multilateral climate actions. These parallel actions fail to address the inherent inequity that these promises propagate, their exclusionist nature, and the real impacts they may have on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), women, farmers, fisherfolks and workers who are the most climate impacted, but least responsible for causing the crisis.

CLARA members are clear that the need for immediate climate action cannot be accelerated through false hopes and solutions embedded in the mad race for nature based solutions and net zero pledges.

Article 6 Outcome Fact Sheet

CLARA members are deeply concerned that the decision on the Article 6 mechanisms creates such significant loopholes that they could eliminate any remaining opportunity to get the world on a 1.5°C pathway.

  • Good: Only a Non-Market approach based on science informed Ambition and historically informed Equity can save Humanity and our planet from Code Red.

  • Good: CLARA welcomes the forward and positive movement to push for a non-market climate mechanism through Article 6.8 and urges Parties to further strengthen the work programme and expedite its time bound implementation to address the need for joint mitigation and adaptation measures, technology transfer, capacity building and mobilization of additional public finance to raise ambition and address inequity, further exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

  • Medium: The operative texts across Article 6 incorporate language on human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but weakly and fail to include human rights in key elements such as 6.4 activity design and to include references to essential international standards, including Indigenous Peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent.

  • Bad: Major risks remain that these mechanisms will contribute to trading nothing more than hot air and will exacerbate the climate crisis by allowing governments and corporations to continue business as usual, albeit under a plethora of new standards and accounting rules.

  • Bad: All the while, they risk irreversible impacts on nature – land, forests, and oceans – and the vulnerable and marginal communities that they nurture – Indigenous Peoples and local communities, women, fisherfolks, farmers, and workers.

  • Bad: Markets and climate policies dictated by corporates and carbon traders, have, as their primary objective, reducing the costs of mitigation in the private sector. Such a narrow and self-serving objective will never be able to realize transformative social, economic and environmental changes. We need a paradigm shift. We need immediate phasing out of fossil fuels. Nature should not become the engine of new commodity creation in the form of carbon offsets that can never offset fossil fuel use. We need full support, fair share and adequate finance for grounded climate action led by the climate vulnerable frontline communities.

  • Bad: Article 6.4’s adoption could give way to a flood of speculative money into carbon, disconnected from the underlying natural assets on which the credits are based. The emergence of a ‘subprime’ market for cheap credits is a serious concern that has barely been considered by Parties. But the International Emissions Trading Association continues to argue for measures that create conditions for trading carbon globally.

  • Bad: The rules allow for carry-over of zombie emissions reductions credits from the CDM dating back to 2013 allowed for use in countries’ first NDCs.

  • Bad: Weak commitment to the overall mitigation of global emissions (OMGE) with no mandatory requirement to cancel credits from 6.2 to contribute to OMGE and only a requirement to automatically cancel 2% from 6.4.

  • Bad: Irrespective of the outcomes of the Article 6 negotiations, recognizing the climate science and keeping the benchmark of 1.5 degree in mind, CLARA strongly believes that carbon markets, offsets and Kyoto Protocol style CDM, rebranded as a sustainable development mechanism, are counter-productive responses to Code Red.

Continue reading and download a PDF of the statement here

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