Next stop in the climate governance talks

3 June 2015

Climate negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany ffrom 1-11 June with the aim of streamlining a draft negotiating text containing multiple options on what to include in a new climate deal. The agreement should, for the first time, see all nations come forward with plans to cut climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions.  Countries are hoping to sign off on the universal climate plan at a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Paris, France in December. The agreement will come into effect at the end of the decade.

Hammering out the new climate regime in the coming months will likely focus countries’ attention on some big questions including around how to co-ordinate diverse national efforts, divisions of responsibility, as well as means of implementation and finance. These issues are also being tackled in other forums addressing the shifting landscape of twenty-first century global governance, notably, the talks on a post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

This issue of BioRes provides an update on developments in the UN climate talks and what to expect over the coming days in Bonn. In particular, calls from the private sector and some governments for strong carbon pricing policies such as emissions trading schemes, have been making headlines in the lead up to the mid-year climate meet. How officials will deal with this topic, however, remains an open question. 

We are also running several articles on emerging policy topics of interest to trade and climate audiences. Sonja Hawkins, Doug Crawford-Brown, and Michael Grubb discuss consumption-based emissions accounting as a complement to the more traditional production-based emissions accounting methodologies. The authors explore the possible relationship with trade policy for several consumer-facing climate policy instruments, such as product labels, information campaigns, and regulatory standards.

Roy Santana, from the WTO Secretariat, looks at the negotiation of existing trade deals between groups of WTO members for inspiration on aspects of the current, ongoing tariff-liberalising Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) talks. A planned EGA between 17 WTO members could make it easier to trade some products with climate benefits.

And against the backdrop of recent Arctic Council and International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings, Thomas Brewer outlines options for co-operation around tackling the potent pollutant black carbon, which is set to increase as new Arctic sea lanes open.

We’ll shortly be heading to Bonn to track developments in the negotiations, particularly focused on issues at the nexus of trade and climate policy, as well as how the UNFCCC talks relate to other global conversations. Stay tuned and subscribe to get BioRes news delivered straight to your inbox. Do also be sure to follow our social networking streams on Twitter and Facebook. And if you are interested in contributing material to future issues of BioRes, please do write to us. We appreciate both your time and your feedback.

The BioRes Team

This article is published under
3 June 2015
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