Liam McHugh, WCA Policy Manager, shares an update from COP24 in Poland, where technical negotiations surrounding the implementation of the Paris Agreement will soon reach the ‘political’ phase and carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) is receiving increased attention.
The conference, which is being hosted in Katowice, began on 3 December with an opening ceremony attended by a small contingent of world leaders and high-profile figures.
Technical negotiations on the ‘Paris rulebook’ also started last week, when diplomats were tasked with delivering the monitoring, reporting and verifying processes that are necessary for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The challenge was to deliver a streamlined document, ensuring that the frameworks could be approved this week in the ‘political’ phase of events, when world leaders arrive.
Until now - as demonstrated by the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - countries have acted individually to define their climate commitments for Paris. The emerging rulebook, however, will set action plans that are subject to internationally agreed rules and procedures.
Predictably, there have been diverse opinions on these emerging frameworks and tensions surrounding financial aid. Negotiators are working to identify ‘landing zones’ that will satisfy all parties.
CCUS at the fore
With CCUS enjoying an increased focus at the talks compared with previous years, several events have been organised that look at its role in meeting the ‘well below two-degree’ aim of Paris, as well as how countries are moving towards deployment.
Among the highest profile events of the first week was ‘CCUS Practices and Principles’. Held at the Chinese Pavilion, the session was opened by Mark Field, British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, who detailed UK-China co-operation to advance CCUS. Mr Field also highlighted the recent CCUS summit in Edinburgh as evidence that the UK is committed to driving commercialisation.
Other prominent speakers included a senior representative of the Asian Development Bank, who made clear that the institution would continue to provide technical and financial support to China (and others within its jurisdiction) to advance CCUS.
Driving CCUS deployment
Over the past few months, the WCA has launched two reports outlining the importance of CCUS to achieving countries’ individual climate targets and the defining role global financial institutions can play in this process.
“Reducing emissions from coal: A role for the World Bank” was published in October and urged multilateral banks to reform their policies on coal financing and support coal-dependent countries in developing concrete steps towards a zero emissions pathway (including the deployment of CCUS).
Then last month, the “Driving CCUS deployment: The pathway to zero emissions from coal” report called for a concerted international commitment on advancing the technology, to ensure it is deployed at the scale needed to meet Paris Agreement goals.
Both reports are available to download in full below or from the resources section.