The nations are heading for an agreement that could create a global carbon market when they meet in Scotland for the COP26 climate talks in about a week, after Brazil signaled its willingness to compromise.
Brazil softened its stance on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which aims to create a framework for countries and companies to achieve their climate goals by trading carbon credits, according to people familiar with the issue, who sought not to were identified because the talks are private. The South American nation has a lot of influence because the Amazon rainforest one of the largest carbon sinks in the world would generate a huge amount of credit in any global compensation market overseen by the United Nations.
Brazil’s willingness to be more flexible is a change as its reluctance to compromise with the European Union in the 2019 Madrid talks led to a stalemate in the negotiations. The new tone comes as businesses have pressured President Jair Bolsonaro to resolve the Article 6 debate. About 100 top corporate executives recently signed a letter asking him to clarify Brazil’s position on key issues that will to be discussed in COP26.
A final decision will only be made in Glasgow and many hours of negotiations are ahead. Reaching an agreement on carbon market rules would be a major victory for the summit, given that it seems increasingly unlikely that UK hosts will receive the global commitment to remove the coal they require and some countries developing have been reluctant to increase their emissions. -reduction targets without more financial support from rich countries.
In all conversations with other delegations, we have clearly signaled that we are more flexible in making the agreement workable, said Leonardo Cleaver de Athayde, Brazil’s chief negotiator at COP26, in an interview published in the Valor Economico newspaper on October 21st.
Brazil’s Ministries of Environment and Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to inquiries. The UK COP refused to comment.
The Glasgow gathering has been billed as a summit that will do or break down to curb global warming, with the UK pushing hard for world leaders to boost their climate ambitions. COP26 President Alok Sharma has called on countries to keep alive the prospects of controlling global temperatures rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. An agreement on Article 6 would help countries achieve that goal.
One of the key points of embedding is whether to allow the use of loans created under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Brazil was one of the main countries for emission reduction projects under the Clean Developed Mechanism, or CDM, in the past has argued that all of these loans should be allowed to offset pollution cuts after 2020. But Brazil is now ready to find a compromise, people said.
Options at the table include allowing countries to use some of the loans created under the CDM to meet their earliest climate commitments, called Nationally Defined Contributions. Setting a cut-off date and limiting the volume of such loans could also be part of a possible solution, according to a UN document distributed among negotiators earlier this week. The paper is written by the chair of the Auxiliary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, and outlines possible scenarios for an Article 6 agreement.
Another hurdle has been disagreements over possible double counting. In 2019, the EU said Brazil’s plan would allow emissions estimates to be double-counted. Brazil has long denied this, though it is now more willing to accept a middle ground solution, people said.
This could include accepting the concept of double counting only for actions clearly stated in a country’s NDC, or giving countries more time to adjust by creating a period in which they would be exempt from such accounting rules , according to the SBSTA report. Proposed dates being considered include 2025 and 2030, according to the October 18 report.
However, the EU is likely to want more concessions. The bloc has repeatedly said that any agreement on Article 6 should guarantee its environmental integrity and stressed that a bad deal would be worse than no deal at all.
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