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In touch with global carbon markets

IETA Network Connections - December

2021: a new hope

Twelve months ago, I was excitedly welcoming the new year and decade, grateful to put 2019 behind us. Little did I know what 2020 was to bring: chaos and tragedy on a global scale, the loss of a much-loved family member and key figure in my life, friends and members afflicted by COVID-19 and economic disruption, and an even more disorderly exit of the UK from the EU than I had ever feared.

Throughout it all, however, I have continued to find hope for the future in the scaling up of commitments on climate action. My own government in New Zealand declared a climate emergency in December and pledged to be carbon neutral by 2025, while President-elect Joe Biden plans for the US to rejoin the Paris Agreement upon his inauguration this month. South Korea’s Green New Deal is set to steer the country away from coal and towards cleaner fuels, such as hydrogen. Japan is reported to be preparing a carbon pricing plan as part of its revised Paris Agreement contribution. China’s President Xi Jinping’s September announcement of a 2060 carbon neutrality goal continues to make headlines. And that’s just a few highlights from my corner of the world in 2020 – countless other regions have seen renewed climate ambitions.

The past year has seen a growing slate of governments – including South Korea, Canada and Japan – and businesses setting net-zero goals. Climate Action Tracker released new analysis last month which found that these pledges, including a forthcoming net zero goal from the US under President-elect Biden, puts the world within striking distance of the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goal, to stabilise the average increase in global temperatures at 1.5°C. Considering that we are in the midst of the biggest public health crisis since the Spanish flu 100 years ago, it’s encouraging that commitments to climate action haven’t weakened but instead have strengthened.

Talking at IETA’s European Climate Summit last month, Shell’s chief climate change adviser David Hone likened the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis and said that for both, while we know the solutions, they will take time to implement and transition. (He expressed it much more eloquently – it starts at 56:00 in this video.) These net zero pledges and increased ambitions to act are, to me, not the beginning nor the end of a process, but rather a new chapter – that point in a book where the protagonist realises the way forward to reach their goal. That we are still writing this book in spite of the events of 2020 gives me hope. 

IETA’s 2020 GHG Market Report, Vision 2050, takes a close look at some of the climate solutions being developed by our members – as well as our overall path to 2050. We were honoured to have former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres write an opening piece for us, imploring us to think about the future we want and how to realise it. Her continued optimism in our collective power is inspiring and empowering.

As the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out this year, I hope that the renewed focus on climate action increases further still and that we hold on to the lessons of 2020: that we can adapt, that business-as-usual needn’t be the order of the day, that we can find a healthier and more sustainable way of living. After what has been a truly horrible year, I hope that we keep striving for a healthier future for us all – and our planet.

Katie Kouchakji
Communications advisor

For more information about IETA and our work, check out www.ieta.org

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IETA Member's Corner

How is ProClima involved in the carbon market?

ProClima is an international programme for climate change mitigation projects registration and certification, and a key player in the carbon market in Colombia. The main objective of ProClima is the development and management of carbon standards and methodologies for quantifying GHG reductions or removals, that promote actions to mitigate climate change.

ProClima registers and certifies GHG mitigation projects in various sectors of the economy including AFOLU, energy, transportation and waste management. Through ProClima’s certification, verified GHG reductions or removals can be transformed into a Verified Carbon Credit (VCC), which corresponds to the principal unit of measurement and the main instrument that adds social, environmental and economic value to the GHG mitigation projects.

As part of our strategy, ProClima is concerned about the adoption of a management system and an adequate corporate governance model, that aims to continuously improve the company´s overall performance. Also, ProClima’s competitiveness is based on assuring quality of certification standards, methodologies and processes, business ethics and compliance.

ProClima has positioned itself as a reference strongly aligned with national and international policies, good practices, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), supported on our corporate values: transparency, truthfulness, coherence, integrity, responsibility, quality and ethics.

Why did you join IETA?

At ProClima, we understand that the Latin American and global carbon market is constantly changing, mainly governed by the need to improve the way in which economy and development process relates to environment. There is no doubt that the resources we consume exceed the limits of what the earth can provide us. In this sense, worldwide initiatives are being developed, as well as methodologies, projects, ideas, management frameworks, goals, objectives, political and economic instruments, organisations, and many other innovative ways of thinking and actions that focus on the conservation of natural resources while counteracting their excessive consumption, and in changing the perception of these as inexhaustible sources. All of this connected with sustainable development and low carbon growth.

ProClima is a member of IETA thanks to its interest in being an active participant of that change. Through IETA, ProClima can reciprocally share strengths, best practices, challenges, and lessons learned, and we can understand emerging market needs to strengthen our standards and offer assertive solutions.

ProClima finds in IETA a means of integration with other interested parties, also we understand that it is possible to work collectively to develop a reliable and efficient carbon market that contributes and promotes real results for mitigation of climate change, and adaptation to new forms of climate economics.

Angela Duque 
CEO, ProClima

IETA Publications

Vision 2050: IETA GHG Market Report 2020

This year's GHG Market Report, Vision 2050, includes an introduction by Christiana Figueres, 2050 carbon market scenarios, how the voluntary market can play a role in driving ambition and the latest on net-zero pledges. Other highlights include how the EU ETS is being future-proofed, ensuring a Just Transition in a resource-rich economy, and carbon pricing implementation in developing countries. It also includes profiles of innovations by IETA members and what policies are needed to deliver on the technology of tomorrow.

Efforts to increase investment in natural climate solutions (NCS) must recognise the importance of reducing emissions from deforestation, says a paper from IETA's NCS Working Group. Carbon markets should help channel finance to all pathways that protect, restore and enhance the ecosystems that draw down and store carbon from the atmosphere, especially tropical forests. The paper follows the publication of an NCS Factsheet by IETA.