Business and Environmental Groups Reinforce Katowice Declaration on Sound Carbon Accounting

December 11, 2019
Raul Arce-Contreras,, (240) 480-1545

Environmental organisations and businesses are reinforcing their call for robust accounting rules under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Sixty-four individual groups and companies representing more than 1 billion workers in 130 countries have signed up to the Katowice Declaration on Sound Carbon Accounting, as negotiators in Madrid grapple with accounting rules for future market-based mechanisms under the Paris Agreement. 

Launched at last year’s UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland, the declaration – spearheaded by IETA and Environmental Defense Fund – calls on governments to establish environmentally robust rules for the accounting of emissions reductions. This includes rules surrounding corresponding adjustments and double-counting, which remain contentious at the ongoing negotiations in Madrid. 

Negotiations over market mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement have once again been slowed by disagreements over robust accounting provisions. Countries have until Friday to deliver a set of strong guidelines that will underpin the flow of billions of dollars in private finance.

“Without clear, robust rules, investors will be wary of getting involved in the transformative projects that we need to realise the Paris Agreement’s environmental objectives,” says IETA President and CEO Dirk Forrister. “It is vitally important that there is a clear chain of ownership for any asset, and even more so when it comes to something as critical as emissions reductions.” 

He adds: “The Paris Agreement has the potential to unleash billions of dollars of clean investment – but investors need confidence in the rules in order to deploy this capital.”

“As the Madrid climate talks enter the home stretch, companies and groups are resending a message to countries with more urgency: the Paris Agreement rulebook must ensure the environmental integrity of carbon markets and prevent double counting,” said Nathaniel Keohane, Senior Vice President for Climate at Environmental Defense Fund.

“International cooperation is critical for solving the climate crisis, and carbon markets are the key to effective cooperation. Markets can unlock greater ambition by enabling countries and companies to make deeper, faster cuts to climate pollution. But because markets depend on clear rules to work well, countries must provide strong guidance on carbon accounting that clearly prohibits double counting of emissions reductions wherever they occur and however they are used.”

The number of signatories has grown from 40 at last year’s launch to 64 as of 11 December. This reflects growing concern among non-state actors that double counting of emissions reductions could derail the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement.

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