International

Climate change is a global challenge and requires a global solution. Through analysis and dialogue, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is working with governments and stakeholders to identify practical and effective options for the post-2012 international climate framework. Read more

 

The Evolution of Multilateral Regimes: Implications for Climate Change

December 2010

By: Daniel Bodansky and Elliot Diringer

Download this paper (pdf)

Press Release

Press Briefing Webcast

Cancun Side Event

 

Introduction:

The 2009 Copenhagen climate summit may in retrospect prove a critical turning point in the evolution of the international climate change effort. For a decade and a half, the principal aim under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had been to establish, and then to extend, a legally-binding regime regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Despite late efforts to temper hopes for Copenhagen, the general expectation was that the summit would carry forward this process by producing a legally-binding outcome. The result, instead, was the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding agreement that captured political consensus on a number of core issues but in the end was not formally adopted by the official Conference of the Parties (COP).

Copenhagen’s “failure” has led many in and outside governments to begin rethinking the best way to mobilize an effective international response to climate change. To be certain, many parties remain fully committed to achieving new legally-binding commitments as quickly as possible; some are looking to do so at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP-17) to be held in 2011 in South Africa, or at Rio+20, the summit to be held in 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. But many others are coming to believe that the path to a new legally-binding agreement will be longer and more incremental. In this view, the process of constructing a post-2012 international climate architecture will involve a gradual process of evolution.

An evolutionary path is, in fact, quite common in multilateral regime-building. While the progression of every regime is unique, reflecting its particular policy needs and political constraints, broad patterns can be seen. Few regimes spring forth wholly formed. Generally, they grow over time, becoming broader, deeper and more fully integrated as parties gain confidence in one another, and in the regime itself.

What a more incremental approach would imply in the case of climate change is not necessarily clear, however. Short of a legally-binding agreement, what types of international arrangements are most urgent or effective? Which of these can or should be pursued through the UNFCCC and which might be more productively pursued in other international forums? Is it critical that we know now the form of legally-binding agreement we aspire to—must it, for instance, include the Kyoto Protocol—or can that unfold over time?

This paper starts to explore these and related issues. It argues that a comprehensive and binding global agreement has strong virtues, and should be the ultimate goal, but that in working toward that end, parties should focus their efforts for now on concrete, incremental steps both within and outside the UNFCCC. The paper proceeds as follows: First, it examines why international regimes often evolve gradually over time, rather than emerging all at once. Next, it unpacks the various dimensions along which international regimes evolve. Then, it examines how the climate change regime has evolved to date. Finally, it outlines several different lines along which the climate change regime might evolve in the future.

Of course, an evolutionary process is by definition gradual and will take time. Given the urgency of addressing climate change, there is no guarantee that this process will reduce emissions quickly enough to avert catastrophic climate change. If a more rapid process were possible, it would be worth pursuing. The paper does not argue that an evolutionary approach is best; rather, it concludes that, at present, an evolutionary process is politically the most promising way forward.

Back to Cancun - COP 16 page.

Daniel Bodansky
Elliot Diringer
0

Cancún Climate Conference - COP 16

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
0

UN Climage Change Conference
COP 16 & CMP 6

Cancún, Mexico
November 29-December 10, 2010

Key Resources:

Find key resources, insights, and analysis of the global climate change negotiations on this page.

New Publications

  • The Evolution of Multilateral Regimes: Implications for Climate Change
    This report examines why and how most international regimes evolve gradually, rather than through dramatic step-changes.  It outlines evolutionary pathways within and outside the UNFCCC that can promote stronger near-term action while building a sturdier foundation for a future binding climate agreement. Read more

  • Strengthening International Climate Finance: Key steps include: establishing a new multilateral climate fund with an independent board under the guidance of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP); a new UNFCCC finance body to advise the COP and promote coordination among funding institutions; a registry mechanism to link finance to mitigation actions; and stronger procedures for reporting and verifying flows. Read more
  • Strengthening MRV: This brief describes and evaluates existing requirements under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and outlines recommendations for building on these mechanisms to establish a more robust MRV system. Read more
  • MRV: A Survey of Reporting and Review in Multilateral Regimes: To move the climate MRV system closer to the norms set by other multilateral regimes, the next stage in its evolution should entail significantly strengthening the existing system of reporting and expert review, and establishing an additional layer of peer review. Read more
  • Cancun Article: Steps to Meaningful Action, by Eileen Claussen
  • The Challenge to Change: COP16 Survey on Climate and Communications: A survey released by the government of Mexico and the Center reveals COP16 attendees’ attitudes on key issues when it comes to climate change, including the biggest barriers to action, the most trusted and effective sources for information on the issue, and the need for activating the general public.

Cancún Side Event Towards a Binding Climate Agreement
Monday, December 6 from 8:15 – 9:45pm
Cancunmesse, Room MONARCA

Presentations and discussion of our new report exploring the evolution of multilateral regimes and implications for the future of the climate change regime. Read more


Media Corner

Strengthening MRV: Measurement, Reporting and Verification

December 2010

Read full report (pdf)

A central issue in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is how best to provide for the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of parties’ mitigation actions and support. This brief describes and evaluates existing requirements under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and outlines recommendations for building on these mechanisms to establish a more robust MRV system. This enhanced system should include: significantly strengthening the existing system of reporting and expert review, and establishing a new mechanism for peer review of mitigation actions. Peer review and expert review would together constitute the international “consultations” and “analysis” envisioned in the Copenhagen Accord.

Back to Cancun - COP 16 page.

0

Making Progress in Cancún

December 2010

Read full brief (pdf)

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancún is an opportunity for concrete progress in the international climate change effort. Key elements of success in Cancún include: 1) operational decisions improving the transparency of countries’ actions, and strengthening support for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries; and 2) a clear declaration by parties that their longer-term aim is a legally binding outcome. A Cancún agreement also should reflect individual country pledges and incorporate the temperature and finance goals of the Copenhagen Accord.

One year after the Copenhagen climate summit, parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) face immediate decisions on strengthening key aspects of the multilateral climate system, and issues concerning the future direction of the international effort.

Copenhagen did not produce a legally binding outcome, as many had hoped. The Copenhagen Accord is a political agreement, which most countries have since joined, but which has no formal standing under the UNFCCC. In Cancún, the aim is not a legally binding outcome, but a “balanced package of decisions.” A well-crafted package can deliver tangible progress in the near term despite stalemate over longer-term legal issues. It can effectively open a new phase in the evolution of the climate regime: taking steps to incrementally strengthen key elements of the international architecture, while working toward the goal of a new legally binding outcome.

Key Operational Decisions
Strengthening UNFCCC mechanisms would promote stronger action in the near term, build parties’ confidence, and create a stronger foundation for a future legally binding outcome. Parties can build on both the Bali Action Plan and the Copenhagen Accord with decisions settling fundamental issues in key areas and launching work programs to elaborate the details. Priorities are:

Improving Transparency. Greater transparency around countries’ mitigation actions—and support for developing countries—will strengthen confidence among parties and in the climate regime. An enhanced measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system should include:

  • Annual greenhouse gas inventories (phased in for developing countries); national communications every four years with improved reporting of policy actions and outcomes and of support provided or received; and biennial reports on implementation and support (with support for capacity building in all three cases, and longer reporting cycles for least developed countries).
  • Expert review of all reporting inputs for accuracy, completeness and consistency with UNFCCC guidelines.
  • A new system for peer review of mitigation actions: an in-session interactive dialogue, based on expert and party inputs, with public release of inputs and proceedings, and facilitative consequences.

Supporting Mitigation and Adaptation in Developing Countries. A stronger support system should include:

  • Finance—A new multilateral climate fund with an independent board under the guidance of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP); a new finance body to advise the COP and promote coordination among funding institutions; and a registry to link finance to mitigation actions.
  • Adaptation—A new adaptation framework to support adaptation planning and implementation in developing countries.
  • Forestry—A new REDD+ mechanism to build capacity within developing countries to reduce deforestation and emissions from other land use activities.
  • Technology—A new technology body to advise the COP on technology-related issues; and a climate technology center and network.

Aiming for a Legally Binding Outcome

Most parties voice support for the goal of new legally binding commitments, but they remain far apart on the specific form and timing of such an outcome. While some want it to bind all major economies, many among that group disagree; while some favor new targets under the Kyoto Protocol with a parallel agreement under the UNFCCC, others prefer a single comprehensive agreement. These differences cannot be bridged in Cancún. Parties should affirmatively declare their intent to work toward a binding outcome, while leaving open all options on specific legal form, including new commitments under Kyoto.

Additional Goals and Pledges

Decisions in Cancun also should:

  • Adopt the long-term goal of holding the increase in average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, with periodic reviews of that goal beginning in 2015;
  • Incorporate the Copenhagen Accord goals of $30 billion in fast-start finance for developing countries in 2010-2012, and $100 billion a year in public and private finance by 2020; and
  • Anchor individual country pledges (emission targets for developed countries, and mitigation actions for developing countries) like those in the Copenhagen Accord.

Other Center resources:

0

Strengthening International Climate Finance

December 2010

Read full report (pdf)

With climate finance needs in developing countries projected to grow significantly in coming decades, governments are considering steps under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to strengthen international climate finance. Key steps include: establishing a new multilateral climate fund with an independent board under the guidance of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP); a new UNFCCC finance body to advise the COP and promote coordination among funding institutions; a registry mechanism to link finance to mitigation actions; and stronger procedures for reporting and verifying flows.

Back to Cancun - COP 16 page

0

MRV: A Survey of Reporting and Review in Multilateral Regimes

December 2010

Read full brief (pdf)

One of the central issues in the international climate change negations is the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of countries’ actions. This brief examines reporting and review practices in other major multilateral regimes and, drawing on these examples, outlines the essential elements of an enhanced system of MRV under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To move the climate MRV system closer to the norms set by other multilateral regimes, the next stage in its evolution should entail significantly strengthening the existing system of reporting and expert review, and establishing an additional layer of peer review.

Back to Cancun - COP 16 page

0

Steps to Meaningful Action

Click here to download the article (PDF).

November 2010

By Eileen Claussen

This article originally appeared in Environmental Finance.

 

The US failure to pass comprehensive climate legislation obscures real efforts towards reducing emissions – and should not be an obstacle to meaningful progress in Cancún, says Eileen Claussen.

The shift in expectations between the Copenhagen and Cancun negotiations is stark. Unlike the unrealistic hope of striking a new climate treaty held by many last year, no major deal is expected at this year’s global climate change conference in Mexico. But calmer conditions heading into Cancun this December offer a greater chance of meaningful progress on the long voyage to a new international agreement.

Last year’s summit produced the Copenhagen Accord, a political agreement including (for the first time ever) explicit emissions reduction pledges from all major economies. While most agree that a legally binding agreement is still the ultimate goal of these ongoing negotiations, the best plausible outcome in Cancun would be a set of concrete decisions that strengthen the international climate framework.

Core among these decisions: steps to scale up finance to developing countries; and steps to promote transparency so that all nations can be confident that others are fulfilling their pledges. These agreements would open the door to decisions on support for adaptation, climate-friendly technology diffusion, and forest protection. A balanced package like this would mark real progress in Cancun. None of this will be easy. When we consider the domestic challenges many countries face in advancing climate action, especially during difficult economic times, an already complex picture gets extraordinarily muddled.

The United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, stand out as chief obstacles. There cannot be a binding international treaty without them, and right now, neither is able or willing to negotiate one.  As China solidifies itself as a global clean energy leader, outspending the United States nearly two-to-one in clean energy investments last year, its emissions continue to soar. And when it comes to addressing climate change globally, China is not distinguishing itself as a leader. China seems reluctant to be transparent about its actions, is unwilling to accept any kind of binding commitment, and opposes a global emissions goal since that would have implications for Chinese emissions.

Meanwhile, the United States has attracted a great deal of attention for its failure to enact national climate legislation, but it is not alone among developed countries. Australia, Canada, and Japan also lack comprehensive national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction laws. Still, the world looks to America to act.

The United States’ inability to move decisively makes it a big target for those looking to blame someone for the slow pace of the international climate talks.  The Obama administration has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the United States’ Copenhagen pledge – reducing emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. But it must show the international community that it has a genuine strategy for achieving that goal. 

Such a roadmap should lay out step by step the various regulatory actions that will start to deliver real reductions in U.S. emissions, while establishing a timetable for enacting domestic climate legislation. Without that, America runs the risk of looking like it is backing away from its pledge, thereby opening the door for other countries to follow suit. U.S. leadership in the form of an emissions reduction strategy would go a long way toward keeping other countries honest and engaged.

Indeed, even in the absence of comprehensive U.S. legislation, federal regulations and the marketplace can combine to deliver positive results for the climate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already is taking reasonable steps under the Clean Air Act that will reduce emissions from transportation and utilities sectors, which account for about two-thirds of U.S. GHG output. Tougher auto efficiency standards requiring 35.5 miles per gallon on average by 2016, with a proposed increase to 62 MPH by 2025, offer clear climate benefits.  New standards for hazardous air pollutants will force the retirement of as many as one-third of existing U.S. coal-fired power plants over the next decade. Their likely replacements: natural gas-fired plants that produce fewer GHGs.

Meantime, new shale gas discoveries are driving down market prices, making natural gas an attractive alternative that will reduce emissions in the near term. And although still a small portion of total U.S. electricity generation, wind power has increased by 40 percent annually in recent years. This all suggests that U.S. emissions will hold steady or even decline over the next decade. 

Despite key obstacles to a binding deal – including the lack of U.S. legislation and China’s hard-line positions – I believe that the Cancun meeting in December can deliver on many of the nuts-and-bolts decisions critical to advancing the international framework. Whether or not we can forge comprehensive solutions at the international or domestic levels is not the test of progress at this juncture. Rather, in Washington, Beijing, and Cancun, it is time to put one foot in front of the other and take the steps that will keep us on track to our ultimate destination: real reductions in emissions at all levels and an effective, ratifiable global climate agreement.

Eileen Claussen is President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

by Eileen Claussen, President— Published in Environmental Finance, November 2010
Eileen Claussen
0

Beijing Workshop on Reporting Practices Related to Climate Change and Other International Challenges

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
0

One of the central issues in the international climate change negotiations is the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of countries’ mitigation actions and of support for developing country efforts. 

In order to contribute to broader understanding of these issues, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Tsinghua University co-hosted an informal workshop on reporting practices related to climate change and other international challenges on October 11 in Beijing.

The workshop focused on four topics: domestic MRV of mitigation efforts in China and the United States; MRV of support; reporting and review processes in other multilateral regimes such as the WTO, the IMF, and the Montreal Protocol; and lessons for international MRV of climate action. Participants included experts and representatives of multilateral institutions, NGOs and government ministries. The agenda and presentations are provided below.

BEIJING WORKSHOP ON REPORTING PRACTICES RELATED TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGES

Pew Center on Global Climate Change
and Tsinghua University

October 11, 2010
Beijing, China

Introductions

  • Elliot Diringer, Vice President for International Strategies, Pew Center
  • He Jiankun, Director of Low Carbon Energy Lab, Tsinghua University;
  • Vice President for Expert Panel on Climate Change


Domestic MRV Practices and Challenges

  • China: Teng Fei, Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University
  • U.S.: Clare Breidenich, Independent Consultant


MRV of Climate Support

  • Jane Ellis, Principal Analyst – Climate Change, OECD


Multilateral Reporting and Review

  • IMF: Il Houng Lee, Senior Resident Representative – Beijing Office, IMF
  • WTO: Lu Xiaojie, Law School of Tsinghua University
  • Montreal Protocol: Sheng Shuo Lang, former Deputy Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund

Lessons for International MRV

  • Elliot Diringer, Vice President for International Strategies, Pew Center
  • Teng Fei, Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University

Overview Document: Key Features of Selected Multilateral Review Processes

Strengthening the International Climate Effort in Cancún

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
0
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the Mexican Embassy to the United States will hold a public briefing in Washington, DC, on the global climate change negotiations featuring Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Representative for Climate Change, Mexico.

Featuring Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Representative for Climate Change, Mexico

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the Mexican Embassy to the United States will hold a public briefing in Washington, DC, on the global climate change negotiations featuring Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Representative for Climate Change, Mexico.

When: Thursday, September 16, 2010 from 12:00-1:00PM

Where: Cannon House Office Building, Room 210 

One year after the Copenhagen climate summit, governments will gather November 29 to December 10 in Cancún for the sixteenth Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The United States and other countries hope to build on the political consensus among leaders in Copenhagen with formal decisions in Cancún on issues including mitigation, adaptation, finance, forestry, and transparency. As host of the conference, the Mexican government plays a critical role in facilitating the negotiations, working with the parties to steer the process to a successful outcome.  Ambassador de Alba will provide an overview of the negotiations and expectations for Cancún.

 

Comparison Chart: International Provisions in Climate and Energy Legislation in the 111th Congress

The following table compares the international provisions detailed in the American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey), the International Climate Change Investment Act (Kerry), and the American Power Act (Kerry-Lieberman).

 

 

Program Category

Design Element

American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454, as passed by the House)

International Climate Change Investment Act of 2009 (S.2835, as introduced)

American Power Act (discussion draft, 5/12/2010)

International Negotiations

Findings and Purposes

  • Calls for constructive engagement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and for all major emitting countries to contribute equitably to global greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions
  • Includes a Sense of Congress encouraging the development of a global framework for regulating GHG emissions from civil aircraft
  • Recognizes the strengths of the UNFCCC as a primary forum for agreement on global climate change
  • Recognizes Article 4 of the UNFCCC calling for developed countries to provide assistance to developing countries
  • Requires the Secretary of State to submit annual report to Congress describing the progress made toward reaching an international agreement in which:
    • Developed countries commit to an economy-wide emission reduction or limitation;
    • Major emerging economies commit to actions which result in substantial, quantified reductions from business as usual(BAU) consistent with achieving 2050 global emission reductions goals;
    • Developed countries and major emerging economies commit to participate in robust measurement, reporting and verification procedures relating to their internationally registered domestic actions; and,
    • There is a mechanism through which parties to the agreement can address cases of non-compliance with obligations
  • Calls on the United States to lead the global community in combating the threat of climate change and reach a robust international agreement under the UNFCCC or a successor agreement; states that it is  critical to engage other countries in an international effort to mitigate climate change
  • States it is U.S. policy to establish binding agreements, including sectoral agreements, committing all major GHG-emitting nations to contribute equitably to the reduction of GHG emissions.
    • Requires the President to inform trading partners of this policy, request appropriate action to limit GHG emissions from partners, and inform partners of the potential applicability of international reserve allowance requirements (described later)
  •  Includes a Sense of the Senate encouraging the development of a global framework for regulating GHG emissions from civil aircraft

Relation to Domestic Emissions Reduction

Linking of emission trading systems

  • Allows unlimited use of allowances from approved, comparable national or sectoral trading systems (i.e. scheme that applies an absolute tonnage limit) for compliance
  • The Administrator  of the EPA may, by rule, change the percentage of a firm’s compliance obligation that can be met with international allowances
  • A covered entity may hold an international emission allowance in lieu of an emission allowance
  • Not specified
  • Allows use of international allowances from a qualifying international program (i.e., run by a national or supranational foreign government, imposes a mandatory absolute tonnage limit and is at least as stringent as the U.S. program) for compliance
  • A covered entity may hold an international emission allowance in lieu of an emission allowance

Relation to Domestic Emission Reduction

Competitiveness and emissions leakage

  • 2% of allowance value to eligible energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries in 2012-2013, increasing to 15% 2014-2025. President assesses whether to continue or phase out (decreasing by 10% per year) after 2025. Allowances will be used to provide compensation for both direct and indirect compliance costs, on a product output basis
  • Beginning in 2020, unless a binding international agreement is in effect that requires all major emitters to contribute equitably to reducing GHGs and addresses imbalances in competitiveness, importers would have to purchase international reserve allowances to cover emissions associated with imported covered goods in energy-intensive, trade-exposed sectors
  • The reserve program would be established automatically unless the President determines that it is not in the national interest and Congress concurs  
  • It would not apply if at least 85 percent of imports in a given sector are from countries that: have emission targets as stringent as the US; are parties to a sectoral agreement; or have energy or GHG intensities in that sector not higher than in the US. It would also not apply to imports from least developed countries (LDC)
  • State Department and U.S. Trade Representative are required to prepare, publish, and publicize a yearly report on whether China and India have enacted GHG emission standards at least as strict as those of this Act
  • Any measures to combat leakage should be consistent with World Trade Organization rules
  • Allowance value used to compensate energy intensive trade-exposed industries
  • Secretary of State, working with the Strategic Interagency Board, required to prepare a biannual interagency report on climate change and energy policy for the 5 highest GHG emitting countries not in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  (OECD)
  • Requires submission of reports by relevant federal agencies  to the Strategic Interagency Board on Planning on International Climate Change Investments assessing whether any assistance undermined the protection of intellectual property rights for clean technology
  • 2% of allowance value to eligible energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries in 2012-2013, increasing to 15% 2014-2025. President assesses whether to continue or phase out (decreasing by 10% per year) after 2025. Allowances will be used to provide compensation for both direct and indirect compliance costs, on a product output basis
  • Beginning in 2020, unless a binding international agreement is in effect that requires all major emitters to contribute equitably to reducing GHGs and addresses imbalances in competitiveness, importers would have to purchase international reserve allowances to cover emissions associated with imported covered goods in energy-intensive, trade-exposed sectors
  • The reserve program would be established automatically unless the President determines that it is not in the national interest and Congress concurs.  
  • It would not apply if at least 85 percent of imports in a given sector are from countries that: have emission targets as stringent as the US; are parties to a sectoral agreement; or have energy or GHG intensities in that sector not higher than in the US. It would also not apply to imports from least developed countries (LDC)
  • State Department and U.S. Trade Representative are required to prepare, publish, and publicize a yearly report on whether China and India have enacted GHG emission standards at least as strict as those of this Act
  • Any measures to combat leakage should be consistent with World Trade Organization rules
  • Allowance value used to compensate energy intensive trade-exposed industries

Direct International Support

Federal Oversight Board

  • Establishes an International Climate Change Adaptation Program under the supervision of the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The Strategic Interagency Board on Planning on International Climate Change Investments is established to assess, monitor, and evaluate the progress and contributions of relevant departments and agencies of the U.S. government in supporting funding for international climate change activities and efforts and the goals and objectives on the UNFCCC
  • The Board is composed of the Secretaries of Energy, Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture, the Administrators of EPA and USAID, and such other relevant officials as the President may designate
  • The Strategic Interagency Board on Planning on International Climate Change Investments is established to assess, monitor, and evaluate the progress and contributions of relevant departments and agencies of the U.S. government in supporting funding for international climate change activities and efforts and the goals and objectives on the UNFCC
  • The Board is composed of the Secretaries of Energy, Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture, the Administrators of EPA and USAID, and such other relevant officials as the President may designate
  • Establishes an International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program, which is headed by the Secretary of State

Direct International Support

Funding

  • International Adaptation program (described later) allocations:
  • 1% of the total of emission allowances for 2012-2021, 2% 2022-2026, 4% 2027-2050
  • International Clean Technology Deployment program (described later) allocations:
  • 1% of the total of emission allowances for 2012-2021, 2% 2022-2026, 4% 2027-2050
  • Administrator to consider, as appropriate, multi-year funding arrangements (Source or scale of funding not specified)
  • International Adaptation and Global Security program (described later) allocations are:
  • 0.75% of the total of emission allowances for 2019-2020, 1.1% 2021, 1.6% 2022-2025, 1.75% 2026
  • 2% of the total of emission allowances for 2027, 2.5% 2028, 2.75% 2029, 3% 2030-2034

Direct International Support

International Offsets

  • 1 billion tons of international offsets are allowed for compliance in the emission reduction program
  • This level may be increased to 1.5 billion tons with Presidential determination
  • Beginning in 2018, 1.25 international offset credits must be submitted for each equivalent allowance
  • Sectoral crediting for absolute sector-wide reductions, avoidance or sequestration in eligible countries/sectors identified by the Administrator as having high emissions, a relatively high GDP, and the comparable sector is covered under U.S. compliance obligation
  • Administrator may allow offset credits from developing countries issued by an international body established under the UNFCCC. After 2016, for sectors in countries identified by the Administrator mentioned as above, only sectoral crediting will be allowed
  • National and sub-national crediting (at the state, province, or project level where appropriate). Sub-national crediting phased out in 2017, except for activities in least developed countries, where sub-national crediting  may be extended up to 8 years
  • Administrator has discretion to include forest soil carbon and degradation of forested wetlands and peatlands
  • International offset credits and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) tons must come from countries with which the United States has either a bilateral or multilateral agreement or arrangement on these issues
  • Not specified
  • 0.5 billion  tons of international offsets are allowed for compliance in the emissions reduction program
  • This level may be increased to 1 billion tons with Administrator determination
  • Beginning in 2018, 1.25 international offset credits must be submitted for each equivalent allowance Sectoral crediting for absolute sector-wide reductions in sectors/countries identified by the Administrator as having comparatively high GHG emissions, comparatively greater levels of economic development and of that sector has been in the United States, it would be subject to a compliance obligation
  • Administrator may allow international offset credits issued by an international body established under the UNFCCC that meet certain conditions. After 2016, for sectors in countries identified by the Administrator mentioned as above, only sectoral crediting will be allowed
  • National and sub-national crediting (at the state, province, or project level where appropriate). Sub-national crediting phased out in 2017, except for activities in least developed countries, where sub-national crediting  may be extended up to 8 years
  • Administrator has discretion to include forest soil carbon and degradation of forested wetlands and peatlands
  • International offset credits and REDD)tons must come from countries with which the United States has either a bilateral or multilateral agreement or arrangement on these issues

Direct International Support

Adaptation support

  • Establishes International Climate Change Adaptation Program within USAID; 1% of allowances from 2012-2021; 2% from 2022-2026; and 4% from 2027
  • The allowances shall be distributed in the form of bilateral assistance, multilateral assistance, or some combination of the two, to help developing countries adapt
  • Not later than 180 days after enactment, the Administrator shall submit an initial report to the President and Congress that identifies the developing countries, including the most vulnerable communities and the populations of such communities, that are most vulnerable and in which assistance may have the greatest and most sustainable benefit in reducing vulnerability to climate change
  • Provide at least 40% and up to 60% of the assistance available  to carry out the International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program to one or more eligible multilateral funds or international organizations Bilateral support may be provided:
    • For the development of national or regional climate change adaptation plans; programs and activities to support the development of associated national policies; planning, financing, and execution of adaptation programs and activities
    • To support investments, capacity building activities and other assistance
    • To support climate change adaptation research
    • To support the deployment of technologies
    • To encourage the engagement of local communities, and
    • To carry out other programs and activities as appropriate
  • Not more than 10% of bilateral assistance made available in any year may be distributed to support activities in any single country 
  • Establishes a International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program to provide new and additional assistance to most vulnerable developing countries:
    • To support the development and implementation of climate change adaptation programs and activities that reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience for communities to climate change impacts,
    • In a manner that protects and promotes the national security, foreign policy, environmental, and economic interests of the US
  • Not later than 180 days after enactment, the Administrator shall submit an initial report to the President and Congress that identifies the developing countries, including the most vulnerable communities and the populations of such communities, that are most vulnerable and in which assistance may have the greatest and most sustainable benefit in reducing vulnerability to climate change
  • Provide at least 40% and up to 60% of the assistance available  to carry out the International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program to one or more eligible multilateral funds or international organizations Bilateral support may be provided:
    • For the development of national or regional climate change adaptation plans; programs and activities to support the development of associated national policies; planning, financing, and execution of adaptation programs and activities
    • To support investments, capacity building activities and other assistance
    • To support climate change adaptation research
    • To support the deployment of technologies
    • To encourage the engagement of local communities, and
    • To carry out other programs and activities as appropriate
  • Not more than 10% of bilateral assistance made available in any year may be distributed to support activities in any single country.
  • Administrator to consider, as appropriate, multi-year funding arrangements, particularly if the risk of political, economic, or social instability due to climate change impacts poses a threat to the national security of the US; or, to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to climate change impacts in the context of carrying out long-term development objectives
  • Establishes an International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program within USAID; 0.75% of emission allowances allocated to international adaptation in 2019, increasing to 3% in 2034
  • The allowances shall be distributed in the form of bilateral assistance, multilateral assistance, or some combination of the two, to help developing countries adapt
  • At least 40% and up to 60% of the assistance available will be used to carry out the International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program through one or more eligible multilateral funds or international organizations Bilateral support may be provided:
  • For the development of national or regional climate change adaptation plans; programs and activities to support the development of associated national policies; planning, financing, and execution of adaptation programs and activities
    • To support investments, capacity building activities and other assistance
    • To support climate change adaptation research
    • To support the deployment of technologies
    • To encourage the engagement of local communities, and
    • To carry out other programs and activities as appropriate 

Direct International Support

REDD support

  • 5% of allowance value from 2012-2025, 3% from 2026 - 2030, and 2% from 2031-2050 dedicated to reduce deforestation and degradation, build capacity and forest conservation (where vulnerable to international leakage) activities in developing countries
  • Goal of achieving supplemental reductions of at least 720 million tons in 2020, and at least 6 billion tons cumulatively by 2025
  • Administrator shall modify allowance value (5%) as necessary to achieve the supplemental reductions goal
  • The Administrator is required to promulgate standards to ensure that reductions in deforestation are additional, measurable, verifiable, permanent, and monitored, and that they account for leakage and uncertainty
  • These standards require the establishment of a deforestation baseline that is national in scope, takes into consideration the average annual historical deforestation rates of the country during a period of at least 5 years and other factors to ensure additionality, establishes a trajectory that will result in zero gross deforestation no later than 20 years after the baseline is established, is designed to account for all significant sources of GHGs from deforestation in the country, and can be adjusted over time
  • Administrator has discretion to include forest soil carbon and degradation of forested wetlands and peatlands
  • Proceeds from strategic reserve auctions used to buy forest carbon tons
  • Forest carbon tons eligible as international offset credits
  • Establishes a program within two years after the date of enactment to provide assistance to reduce GHG emissions from deforestation in developing countries, build capacity to reduce deforestation at the national level (including preparing countries to participate in international offset markets), and forest conservation activities in developing countries. Administrator has discretion to expand to include forest soil carbon and degradation of forested wetlands and peatlands
  • Goal of achieving emissions reductions of at least 720 million tons in 2020, and at least 6 billion tons cumulatively by 2026, and additional reductions in subsequent years. Reported in a publically accessible registry
  • Eligible countries are those determined by the administrator to be experiencing or are at risk of deforestation or degradation; to have legal regimes, standards and safeguards in place to ensure the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities are protected; and has entered into a bilateral or multilateral arrangement agreement or arrangement with the US (except when a country may receive assistance to build capacity in order to meet the above requirements)
  • National and sub-national activities. After 8 years, determination by the Administer on continued assistance for sub-national activities, with provision for support for an additional 5 years  
  • The Administrator is required to establish an International Deforestation Reduction Program Insurance Account for Noncompletion or Reversal of GHG emissions that were not, or are no longer, sequestered, and may include a mechanism to hold in reserve a portion of the support allocated
  • Establishes a program to provide assistance to reduce GHG emissions from deforestation, build capacity, preserve existing forest carbon stocks, and reduce vulnerability and increase resilience in forest -dependent communities in developing countries
  • Funds made available (source or scale not specified) to achieve goal of supplemental reductions of at least 720 million tons in 2020, and at least 6 billion tons cumulatively by 2025 and additional reductions in subsequent years
  • The Administrator is required to promulgate standards to ensure that reductions in deforestation are additional, measurable, verifiable, permanent, and monitored, and that they account for leakage and uncertainty
  • These standards require the establishment of a deforestation baseline that is national in scope, takes into consideration the average annual historical deforestation rates of the country during a period of at least 5 years and other factors to ensure additionality, establishes a trajectory that will result in zero gross deforestation no later than 20 years after the baseline is established, is designed to account for all significant sources of GHGs from deforestation in the country, and can be adjusted over time
  • Administrator has discretion to include forest soil carbon and degradation of forested wetlands and peatlands
  • Proceeds from strategic reserve auctions used to buy forest carbon tons
  • Forest carbon tons eligible as international offset credits

Direct International Support

Assistance for Clean Technology Activities

  • Establishes International Clean Technology Fund, 1% of allowances from 2012-2021; 2% from 2022-2026; and 4% from 2027-2050. Eligible countries are developing countries that have entered into an international agreement under  which the countries agree to have national policies to measure, report, and verify changes in GHG emissions.
  • The President is required to establish an Interagency group to administer the distribution of International Clean Technology Deployment  allowances
  • Qualifying clean technology activities include:
    • Assistance in retrofitting existing electric generating units or large industrial sources with CCS technologies or the incremental cost of purchasing and installing such technologies at new facilities;
    • The deployment of renewable electricity generation from wind, solar, sustainably produced biomass and biochar systems, geothermal, marine, or hydrokinetic sources;
    • Substantial increases in the efficiency of electricity transmission, distribution, and consumption;
    • Deployment of low- or zero emissions technologies that are facing financial or other barriers to their widespread deployment;
    • Reduction in transportation sector emissions through increased transportation system and vehicle efficiency or use of transportation fuels that have life cycle greenhouse gas emissions that are substantially lower than those attributable to fossil fuel-based alternatives;
    • Reduction in black carbon emissions; and
    • Capacity building activities
  • Authorizes the Secretary of State, or other federal Agency head that the President designates, to provide assistance, through the distribution of allowances for activities that occur in eligible countries
  • Allowances shall be distributed to multilateral funds or institutions, for bilateral assistance, or for a combination of the above mechanisms
  • Establish the International Clean Energy Deployment Program, Expert Panel on Technology Deployment and an interagency group, to provide assistance to qualifying entities to carry out qualifying clean technology activities in eligible countries, and leverage private resources
  • An eligible country is a most vulnerable developing country that:
    • Has entered into an international agreement to which the US is a party,
    • Agrees to take nationally appropriate mitigation actions to achieve substantial reductions, sequestration, or avoidance relative to BAU, to produce measurable, reportable, and verifiable GHG emissions mitigation or is determined to be capable of measurement, reporting and verification,
    • And the President determines meets other criteria, including robust compliance with and enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Qualifying clean technology activities include:
    • Assistance in retrofitting existing electric generating units or large industrial sources with CCS technologies or the incremental cost of purchasing and installing such technologies at new facilities;
    • The deployment of renewable electricity generation from wind, solar, sustainably produced biomass and biochar systems, geothermal, marine, or hydrokinetic sources;
    • Substantial increases in the efficiency of electricity transmission, distribution, and consumption;
    • Deployment of low- or zero emissions technologies that are facing financial or other barriers to their widespread deployment;
    • Reduction in transportation sector emissions through increased transportation system and vehicle efficiency or use of transportation fuels that have life cycle greenhouse gas emissions that are substantially lower than those attributable to fossil fuel-based alternatives;
    • Reduction in black carbon emissions; and
    • Capacity building activities
  • Assistance shall be distributed bilaterally or to multilateral funds or institutions under the UNFCCC or a combination. No more than 15% of bilateral funding in any year may be used to support activities in a single country
  • Establishes a Reserve Fund for LDCs by annually holding 15% of assistance in reserve for access by least developed countries with GHG emissions below 0.5 percent of global emissions
  • If the President determines that a multilateral agreement has been reached, he may direct the Administrator to allocate not more than 5% of allowances to undertake capacity-building, clean-energy deployment activities among others
  • States the support of the export deployment of clean energy technologies (but does not explicitly outline assistance for clean energy technology activities)
Syndicate content