“Keep calm and carry on” – COP-22 underway, with CCS events, and American developments.

News

By Tim Dixon

9 November 2016

COP-22 got underway in Marrakesh in unseasonable heavy rain. Several thousand delegates are gathering at the tented city that is the conference centre for the work to start developing the implementation details of the Paris Agreement, in terms of frameworks, processes and mechanisms. Negotiations commenced under SBSTA on the Technology Framework in terms of agreeing its purpose, characteristics, structure and themes. Negotiations also started on the future “cooperative approaches”, ie mechanisms, within “Article 6”. These are expected to draw upon the experiences of the CDM and JI mechanisms.

SBSTA also has on its agenda to revisit the two unresolved issues for CCS In the CDM, which were transnational projects and a global reserve. The SBSTA chair proposed to not initiate a negotiation group on this but instead to draft conclusions in consultation with interested countries, so this is likely to be to just to defer this topic to be considered at some point in the future.

Today, Wednesday the 9th, the big topic of discussion everywhere is the USA election result, and its implications for climate change. People quickly looked to the legal processes for a country to withdraw from the Paris Agreement – it cannot be done until three years after it came into force (4 Nov 2016) and then with a year’s notice. Whether the USA’s internal process of approval (by ‘executive agreement’) is challenged is a burning question. However it appears that the Paris Agreement has enough parties and percentage of emissions to continue without the USA should the new administration want to leave. There were calls from participants at COP for clear and consistent leadership on climate issues to continue from everyone, including industry. “Keep calm and carry on” was heard more than once.

Our Side-event was held in the UNFCCC area “Blue Zone” on the 8th.November. This was organised by IEAGHG in collaboration with the University of Texas, CO2GeoNet and CCSA. Titled “CCS Opportunities for Africa” we had scene-setting presentations from ourselves on the context of CCS in the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, and from Ghana on the economic potential of CCS for the whole of Africa in terms of decoupling emissions from their economic growth. We had updates on CCS activities from South Africa, Nigeria and opportunities for collaboration from The International CCS Knowledge Centre in Saskatchewan, CO2GeoNet, and on offshore opportunities and CSLF and CTCN from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center at the University of Texas. More than 80 attended with a high level of interest and we had more questions than time allowed, so many discussions continued outside the event. IISD chose to cover our event and their coverage is available at http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop22/enbots/8nov.html#event-1

In the meanwhile, the CCS booth had a steady stream of interest, with CO2GeoNet colleagues doing a great job of manning it at all hours. IEAGHG also presented at the following event:

  • 7 Nov. 1830-2000. CCS is necessary for meeting 2C. Venue: EU Pavilion, Blue Zone. Organiser CO2GeoNet. IEAGHG talk title: “CCS in achieving negative emissions”

And IEAGHG will be presenting at the following events:

  • 10 Nov. 0900-1030. CCS what its all about and why we need it. Venue: Green Zone. Organiser CO2GeoNet. IEAGHG talk title: “Why we need CCS”.
  • 10 Nov. 1530-1630. Climate readiness – Ocean based adaptation and mitigation. Venue: UK Pavilion, Blue Zone. Organiser PML. IEAGHG talk title: “Large scale CCS – pros and cons for the oceans”.

The overall outcomes hoped for at COP-22 are agreed plans to enable the implementation of the many parts of the Paris Agreement. Like at COP-6.5, the US election results may make the efforts even more earnest. 

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