COP25 Chile Madrid: Ai Group observations

tennant reed at the conference COP25

The 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Madrid in December 2019. Ai Group is a registered observer organisation at the talks, and we were able to take in many negotiating sessions, as well as a panoply of side events, panels and dialogues organised by national delegations and other observers. Below is a list of events we observed, short descriptions, and links to Twitter threads of detailed notes by Ai Group representative Tennant Reed (Twitter: @TennantReed).

 

Uncategorised

West Antarctic Ice Sheet science update

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202182317307023361

The WAIS is vast, land-based and vulnerable to collapse as temperatures rise; it can potentially add substantially to global sea level rise. This IPCC Pavilion talk outlined the current state of scientific understanding of risks to the WAIS.

 

Bridging the Fossil Fuel Gap: A key opportunity for enhanced ambition

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1201851373492613120

This panel discussed a recent major study, which found that announced private and public plans for fossil fuel resource development imply cumulative greenhouse gas emissions that would send temperatures far above the limits targeted in the Paris Agreement.

 

7th Global Climate Change Think Tank Panel – China Pavilion

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1204452725595004932?s=20

An all-star cast of Chinese, European and American economists and public policy specialists discuss their latest thinking on climate change. Includes sharp criticism of current economic models’ underestimation of climate damages, and insight into currents in Chinese policy making.

 

IPCC: What to expect in the next Assessment Report of Working Group III on Mitigation

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202599002128207873?s=20

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regularly summarises the state of scientific knowledge of climate change, climate impacts, and pathways for mitigating emissions. The next major assessment report is due in stages from 2021 to 2022. This talk by IPCC WGIII Co-Chair Jim Skea outlines what the mitigation report will look like.

 

Trade and climate policy (Ai Group presentation)

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1205004802813509632?s=20

As part of a global business dialogue, Ai Group’s Tennant Reed presented on the challenges associated with trade and climate change – particularly how to ensure that strong climate policies do not lead to a loss of trade competitiveness.

 

Carbon markets, carbon pricing and Article 6

What’s at issue in Article 6 negotiations? Diplomat briefing 7 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1203259771115233281?s=20

The Article 6 negotiations are complex. This short briefing by a well-informed diplomat explains many of the key issues at play in Madrid, which are likely to remain major foci for future efforts to finalise Article 6 rules.

 

Status of Article 6 negotiations: part 1

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1201569964144107520

This panel session with senior technical negotiators outlines different views of the issues in Article 6 and the prospects as seen at the outset of COP25.

 

Status of Article 6 negotiations: part 2

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1204093650134806535

This panel session with senior technical negotiators updates their views on the Article 6 negotiations at the mid-point of COP25.

 

Carbon Pricing – concepts, regional developments and future governance

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1205439325678292992

This excellent panel provides an update on the state of play on carbon pricing in Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe; outlines the carbon border adjustment proposal being developed by the European Union; and considers the factors that may make carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes or hybrids succeed or fail.

 

Impacts of Flexibility Mechanisms in Latin American Economies, Global Perspective on CDM Transition and Article 6 Virtual Pilots for Future Mechanisms

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202625855362650112

Latin America is a key focus of diplomacy around carbon markets, the transition from the older Clean Development Mechanism and the potential of a new multilateral market mechanism under Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement. Diplomats, academics, government officials and project developers lay out the issues.

 

Meeting NDCs through Carbon Pricing: state of play and updates from key jurisdictions

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202189467735470080

This panel gives strong insight into European Union, German, Canadian and Chinese climate policies and the development of their emissions trading and carbon tax measures.

 

Realising the Potential of Article 6

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1204731287598194689

An eminent panel led by Harvard University’s Professor Robert Stavins considers challenges and solutions in getting the most out of international carbon trading.

 

The value of Article 6

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202958269964271618

A panel led by the International Emissions Trading Association lays out evidence on the potential of international cooperation to slash the cost of achieving current emissions targets, making it easier to adopt the more ambitious targets needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

 

Sharing Experience on China’s National Emissions Trading Scheme Construction

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1204706974019006464

China’s national ETS is one of the most closely-watched and anticipated policies in the world. Senior officials and market authorities from China set out the state of play on this scheme. The ETS is set to begin in 2020 and be the largest carbon market globally, despite initially covering only the power sector.

 

Solutions and Technology

Carbon Capture and Storage

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1204369949059407874

Diverting greenhouse gas emissions from smokestacks into the ground is a critical but often-controversial option to reduce global emissions (or deliver negative emissions, if the carbon comes from biomass). This expert panel discussed the current state and future prospects of the technology.

 

Transparency and Ambition in Nationally Determined Contributions: a view from AFOLU and Bioenergy

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1201479846226014208

Agriculture, forestry and land use and bioenergy are important parts of existing and future commitments around climate change. This panel discusses the challenges in understanding and reporting on exactly what nations are committing to.

 

Transportation and Oil: phasing out diesel engines and the fuel they use to meet the Paris Agreement

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1201520615322206208

Transport fuels are an important part of global emissions, and one that is less straightforward to reduce than power sector emissions. This panel discusses the options for lighter road transport.

 

Negotiations and formal proceedings

SBI/SBSTA informal negotiation on Article 6, 4 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202233910509395968?s=20

These sessions were open to observers and feature negotiators attempting to make (or in some cases slow) progress on Article 6. More substantive negotiation and technical work took place in ‘informal informals’ and bilateral meetings that were not open to observers.

 

SBI/SBSTA informal negotiation on Article 6, 6 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202595578963779585?s=20

These sessions were open to observers and feature negotiators attempting to make (or in some cases slow) progress on Article 6. More substantive negotiation and technical work took place in ‘informal informals’ and bilateral meetings that were not open to observers.

 

SBI/SBSTA informal negotiation on Article 6, 7 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1202995450913144836?s=20

These sessions were open to observers and feature negotiators attempting to make (or in some cases slow) progress on Article 6. More substantive negotiation and technical work took place in ‘informal informals’ and bilateral meetings that were not open to observers.

 

SBI/SBSTA informal negotiation on Article 6, 9 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1203972913021497344?s=20

These sessions were open to observers and feature negotiators attempting to make (or in some cases slow) progress on Article 6. More substantive negotiation and technical work took place in ‘informal informals’ and bilateral meetings that were not open to observers.

 

Global Climate Action High Level Event, 12 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1204771111294115840?s=20

This formal event featured the UN Secretary General, the Chilean High Level Champion for climate action and other prominent people form business, science, and civil society.

 

Presidency informal stocktake, 12 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1205091621257306113

The Chilean President of COP25, Minister Carolina Schmidt, explained where negotiations were at and the mode of work to come.

 

Closing plenary, Part 1, 12 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1205174994579476480

Minister Schmidt gavelled through a series of less fraught decisions while more difficult negotiations on other matters continued.

 

Closing plenary, Part 2, 15 December 2019

https://twitter.com/TennantReed/status/1206134935825899522

Minister Schmidt presided over the exhausting and long-delayed conclusion to the longest-running COP ever. Features statements towards COP26 by assorted Parties and reactions from non-Party observers.

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Tennant Reed
Tennant is Principal National Adviser – Public Policy at Ai Group. He has worked heavily on climate and energy issues, advising Ai Group’s Leaders’ Group on Energy and Climate Policy and developing reports on natural gas supply, energy prices and energy efficiency. He also works on a range of issues related to manufacturing and innovation. Previously he was an adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, working on fiscal policy, stimulus and infrastructure.

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