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COP Presidency Publishes Climate Finance Delivery Plan The UK COP26 Presidency yesterday published the long-awaited Climate Finance Delivery Plan (the Delivery Plan) led by Canadian Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and German State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth. The Delivery Plan seeks to provide clarity on the commitment by developed countries to provide $100 billion in climate finance per year. The Delivery Plan is informed by recent OECD analysis to 2025, which indicates that by 2023 the $100 billion per year goal will be met and the mobilization of funds for climate finance is likely to surpass $100 billion each year afterwards. The Delivery Plan provides ten key actions that should be taken by developed countries to deliver on the $100 billion pledge, including: Increasing the scale of climate finance; Increasing finance for adaptation; Prioritizing grant-based financing for the poorest and most vulnerable; Addressing barriers in accessing climate finance; Strengthening the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement; Working with multilateral development banks to increase and improve climate finance; Improving the effectiveness of private finance mobilized; Reporting on collective progress transparently; Assessing and building on lessons learned; and Taking into account the broader financial transition needed to implement Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement (making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development). In 2009, developed countries first pledged to mobilize $100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020. This goal was reaffirmed under the Paris Agreement in 2015. In June 2021, Canada pledged to double its international climate finance commitment to $5.3 billion. Germany has pledged to increase its climate finance to €6 billion per year by 2025. RBC Releases Canada Net-Zero Transition Report RBC recently released a report titled “The $2 Trillion Transition: Canada’s Road to Net Zero” (the Report), which analyzes the opportunities and…

The Globe and Mail reports on growing support in Europe for withdrawing from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) as the threat of multibillion-euro lawsuits by fossil fuel investors intensifies. The increasing costs associated with claims under the ECT may also put the ambitions of the Paris Agreement at risk if signatories choose to allow fossil fuel companies to continue to emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) instead of paying compensation for lost investments.   The ECT was drafted and signed, as the Soviet Union was dissolving, to protect European energy firms entering Russia and former Soviet Republics. The intent of the ECT was to allow investors to sue governments for policies affecting their new investments. The ECT is quickly becoming a vehicle for claims by fossil fuel companies to attempt to recoup losses from their investments as a result of climate action and the decarbonization of economies across Europe. It is estimated that claims brought by fossil fuel companies seeking compensation for climate policies could reach €1.3 trillion by 2050. Remaining subject to the compensation mechanism of the ECT could result in large payouts to fossil fuel companies unless countries choose to allow them to continue to emit GHGs for at least another decade under the terms of the ECT.   Four claims have already been brought under the compensation mechanism of the ECT, with a combined total of more than €2.5B.  A similar claim, against the US government for $15B USD, was brought by TC Energy for the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline as a NAFTA legacy claim. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) yesterday released the IPCC Working Group 1 report, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” (the Report), part of the Sixth Assessment Report, providing an updated assessment of the physical understanding of the current state of the climate system and climate change. The Report predicts that global temperatures are likely to continue to increase beyond the 1.5-2°C target of the Paris Agreement without widespread and steep global reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This bulletin summarizes the Report’s key findings. The current state of the climate. The Report reiterates that the warming of the atmosphere, oceans, and land are human-caused, with rapid changes being observed in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere. In addition, the Report confirms that anthropogenic climate change is globally affecting weather and climate extremes, with increased heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones more readily attributed to human influence. Possible climate futures. According to the Report, under all emissions scenarios, global surface temperatures will continue to increase until mid-century, with temperatures predicted to exceed 1.5-2°C this century without deep reductions of GHGs. As the climate warms, changes in climate systems will become larger, increasing the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, intensity of tropical cyclones, and reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover, and permafrost. The Report indicates that changes in the ocean, ice sheets, and global sea levels, resulting from past and future GHG emissions, will likely be irreversible for hundreds of years. Climate information for risk assessment and regional adaptation. The Report indicates that all regions are expected to increasingly experience concurrent and multiple changes in climatic impact-drivers amplified at 2°C compared to 1.5°C, with greater increases at even higher global temperatures. The Report also indicates that even “low-likelihood” outcomes such as…

The Ecosystem Marketplace, an initiative of Forest Trends, in collaboration with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank, yesterday released its report on the state of forest carbon finance in 2021 titled “A Green Growth Spurt: State of Forest Carbon Finance 2021” (the Report). The Report indicates that forest carbon financing remains inadequate to support increased climate ambition and counter global deforestation, noting that 23% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions are a result of the inefficient and destructive use of forests, farms, and fields. This bulletin summarizes the Report’s key findings:   Funding for forests. Funding for forests through carbon markets and results-based payments for REDD+ has more than doubled since 2017, including $5.9 billion to forest carbon offset projects and an additional $1.3 billion for “REDD+ readiness” in developing countries.    Compliance-driven forest carbon markets. Compliance carbon markets have provided over $3.9 billion to forests and sustainable land use. This is expected to further increase as a result of new compliance mechanisms such as CORSIA and the still-to-be-finalized markets provisions under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.   Natural climate solutions. From 2017-2019, approximately $400 million was generated in transactions through global voluntary carbon markets (VCM), representing 105 MtCO2e of carbon credits from forest and land use natural climate solutions (NCS), as well as generating an overall transaction value of over $1 billion in demand for NCS offsets.     Voluntary carbon markets. The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) estimates that VCMs must grow 15-fold by 2030 and 100-fold by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement (read our earlier bulletins on the TSVCM here and here). The Report notes that most forest carbon offset buyers in VCMs are concentrated in Europe and the US, with companies in France and the UK accounting for almost a third of all offsets purchased in 2019.  …

Five of Canada’s largest oil sands producers operating 90% of oil sands production, including Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial, and MEG Energy, today announced the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative (the Initiative). The Initiative aims to work collectively with the federal and Albertan governments to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canadian oil sands operations by 2050 and help Canada to meet its Paris Agreement and 2050 net zero commitments.  This bulletin provides key highlights from the announcement. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. The Initiative proposes collaborating with industry and government to create a Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) CO2 trunkline system connecting oil sands facilities in the Fort McMurray and Cold Lake regions to a sequestration hub in Cold Lake with the potential for future links to the Edmonton region, modeled on similar systems in Norway and CCUS projects in the Netherlands, U.K., and U.S. Investment. The Initiative will require significant investment by industry and government in research and development for new and emerging technologies, such as direct air capture, aimed at reducing and removing GHG emissions as well as deploying GHG reduction technology, including hydrogen, process improvements, energy efficiency, fuel switching, and electrification. Indigenous Partnerships. The Initiative will seek to partner and work with the federal and Alberta governments, to ensure that local Indigenous communities benefit from both emissions reductions and Canadian resource development. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.