The road to UNFCCC COP 18 and beyond - Energy and Climate Change Contents

12  Recommendations


1.  The measurement, reporting and verification process is vital for progress to be made on emissions reduction. Lack of transparency will delay progress, or stop it altogether. There is widespread agreement about the need for a single accounting regime for both developed and developing countries. We recommend that DECC push for this single accounting regime at an EU level and an international level. (Paragraph 14)

2.  At a time when resources are limited money must be spent wisely and efficiently. We recommend that the Government prioritise energy efficiency as a mitigation strategy. EU cohesion funds or EU-ETS credits should be used to facilitate the implementation of energy efficiency policies throughout Europe. (Paragraph 18)


3.  We agree with DECC that "there is no other forum [than the UNFCCC] that offers a better opportunity to secure agreement." We recommend that the UK and the EU continue to use this process to promote further global action to combat climate change. (Paragraph 29)

4.  We recommend that the Department should advocate moving HFCs into the Montreal Protocol. (Paragraph 30)

5.  The Minister noted that "a global cap-and-trade system is what we all aim for". We see considerable merit in the system that Sir David advocates, but there are also enormous challenges that may make it impracticable. (Paragraph 37)

6.  We recommend that DECC cooperates with industrial sectors and other interested stakeholders to identify the obstacles to and benefits of a sectoral trading scheme with a view to including it in an international agreement. (Paragraph 39)

Kyoto Protocol

7.  We recommend that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol lasts for eight years until 2020. In addition it must have a review clause in case the IPCC report recommends that the target for the global average temperature increase be cut from 2 °C to 1.5 °C. (Paragraph 42)

8.  It is highly improbable that countries such as Canada, Russia and Japan will sign up to the second Kyoto period. Many of them have publically stated they will not. Instead diplomatic efforts should now be focused on the more promising Durban Platform. (Paragraph 47)

9.  We urge caution against the Government's commitment to adopt strict rules around surplus assigned amount units (AAUs) of CO2 and recommend that it the government does not confuse its two aims of agreeing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and its desire to ensure the maximum net reduction of emissions from the current scenario. To do so will only raise serious questions of equity that may prejudice negotiations. (Paragraph 50)

2 °C Target and Current Ambition

10.  Europe's influence over, and potential leadership of, future international negotiations would be greatly increased if its own economy was decarbonised more rapidly. It should therefore set a target of a 30% reduction on 1990 levels by 2020. This would be a win in the long term economic and environmental interests of the UK and the EU. We recommend that the Government argues strongly for this at the European level. (Paragraph 54)

11.  We recommend that DECC support the use of the Human Development Index or a similar "objective number" to determine equitably which countries are treated as developed nations. (Paragraph 65)


12.  We recommend that the United Kingdom exploit its expertise in financial services to develop innovative mechanisms for levering in more private investment to help achieve the US$100 billion target to make up for the almost inevitable shortfall in public funds. (Paragraph 71)

13.  We applaud DECC for pledging up to 50% of its climate fund on adaptation and recommend this is maintained. (Paragraph 74)

14.  We note that witnesses have argued that the revenues from EU ETS should be allocated for climate finance and we recommend that the Government consider matching these revenues by an increase in the budget for the UK's International Climate Fund. (Paragraph 77)

15.  In his evidence the Minister said that DECC are not in favour of "a complicated institutional architecture". He added that "there is scope within the UNFCCC framework to have a more streamlined approach." We recommend that DECC clarify how the international finance architecture could be streamlined. (Paragraph 81)


16.  We recommend that DECC investigate why the disbursement of funds into REDD+ projects has been so disappointing. We recommend that the Government support work to resolve such legislative anomalies that hamper the deployment of finance at scale to tackle deforestation. The Department should clarify what steps are being taken to prepare for the REDD+ finance workshop at COP 18. (Paragraph 86)

17.  Reference levels are intended to be used by countries as the common baseline against which to compare, for example, how much they can avoid emissions by undertaking a specific set of management activities. These reference levels are used in the MRV system. Parties in Durban agreed to a set of technical guidelines for ensuring that reference levels had environmental integrity. Decisions to be made at Doha will include how to measure and monitor emissions due to forestry within these technical guidelines. In their evidence DECC asserted that they will push for biennial reporting to start in 2014. The Committee supports this aim and recommends the Government negotiate strongly to this end. (Paragraph 87)

18.  We recognise the importance of REDD+ in tackling emissions from forestry, particularly with regard to developing countries where the forest areas are not under the control of the central government. We recommend that the UK and the EU press for stronger and more detailed social, governance and environmental safeguards for REDD+ projects. (Paragraph 90)

Carbon taxes and embedded carbon

19.  We welcome the Department's acknowledgement of our concerns as outlined in our Consumption Based Emissions Reporting inquiry and their plan to increase the prominence of consumption-based emissions alongside territorial emissions in their literature. However, this does not address the emissions due to embedded carbon, or go far enough towards tackling global emissions. As our report highlighted, we recognise the enormous difficulty of achieving a legally binding agreement on emissions reductions based on consumption rather than territorial emissions, not least because all international negotiations hitherto have been based on the latter. We are therefore not proposing that consumption based emissions should immediately be introduced into the international process. However we urge the Government to show leadership and acknowledge that consumption in the UK and some other developed countries is driving up territorial emissions elsewhere . This acknowledgement would encourage a more equitable approach to reducing emissions globally. (Paragraph 95)

Fossil Fuel Subsidies

20.  We accept that in some countries fossil fuel subsidies help to alleviate fuel poverty. However these subsidies are not confined to countries where that is the case so we recommend that the Government strongly support pro-poor interventions that would raise the standard of living for the poorest whilst enabling fossil fuel subsidies to be eliminated, particularly in developed countries. (Paragraph 99)

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Prepared 25 July 2012