Jointly organised by the World Bank Group, IETA and Fira Barcelona on May 22-25, the new platform Innovate4Climate (I4C) brought together business and finance leaders, multilaterals, and governments from around the world.
ICROA hosted an invitation-only workshop on ‘Scaling voluntary action within the framework of the Paris Agreement’, involving voluntary market stakeholders and national governments. This successful first edition was oversubscribed and attracted over 80 participants who took part in roundtable discussions based on the 'World Café' format. As an introduction to these discussions, the following panelists from the public and private sector shared their views on the challenges and opportunities for the future of the voluntary market:
- Glen Murray: Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
- Marion Verles: CEO, Gold Standard Foundation (presentation here)
- James Grabert: Director, Sustainable Development Mechanisms, UNFCCC (presentation here)
- Andrew Howard: Director, Koru Climate (presentation here)
- Mahlin Ahlberg: Senior Policy Advisor, German Ministry of Environment (presentation here)
In the past 15 years, the voluntary market has helped raise ambition, mobilise private sector finance and build momentum around emissions mitigation. These experiences will prove valuable in helping to deliver the objectives of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the entry into force of the Agreement will create opportunities for increased voluntary action, but will also raise important questions, which were discussed by the participants during the roundtables:
- Is the concept of offsetting still fit for purpose and practicable under the Paris Agreement?
- Does offsetting have different roles to play in different types of NDCs?
- Are specific provisions needed under Article 6 to support voluntary action? If so, what areas would these provisions need to focus on?
- What incentives would drive higher levels of voluntary action from the private sector, and what options are available to governments to encourage voluntary action?
- What governance and infrastructure arrangements are needed to ensure that voluntary actions contribute to NDCs under the Paris Agreement, whilst maintaining environmental integrity?
This edition was the first installment of a bi-annual series of workshops designed to help secure a role for voluntary action in a post Paris world. ICROA will build on this first edition to write a report which will serve as guidance and a communication tool for the second edition scheduled for November 2017 during COP23 in Bonn.