Climate Action

High-level conference discusses way forward for international carbon market rules


The European Commission today hosted a high-level conference aimed at laying the foundations for agreement on establishing effective and robust international carbon markets.

Whilst the COP24 negotiations in Katowice, Poland last year concluded with the adoption of a ‘rulebook’ for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, it was not possible to find agreement on the framework for international carbon markets, as foreseen in the Paris Agreement.

If we are able to agree these rules however, it would give us another valuable tool to help coordinate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between countries.

Hosting the conference, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

“We cannot live up to our shared commitments without establishing common rules for international carbon markets. We recognise that all stakeholders have their own priorities and concerns about making commitments in this area.

“The discussions today have given us the opportunity to discuss these issues outside of a negotiating environment, and share our lessons learnt through our experience with the EU ETS.

“I firmly believe this has allowed all of the parties to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and helped us approach the next round of UNFCCC discussions on a much stronger footing.

The high-level conference held in Brussels brought together high-level representatives and carbon markets specialists to exchange views and foster a common understanding on the necessary rules, challenges and prospects for international carbon trading.

The conference aimed to help inform the discussions in the run-up and at the next UN climate conference (COP25) to take place in Chile in December, while also considering more broadly how market instruments can help deliver both environmental integrity and climate ambition.

Next steps

Formal negotiations on the completion of the markets chapter of the ‘Katowice Rulebook’ will resume at the June UNFCCC meetings in Bonn and are scheduled to conclude in December at the COP25 in Santiago.

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