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Accessing carbon markets to strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions: current state of play, trends, and future scenarios

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Description of the event

Carbon markets can play an important role in accelerating the achievement of the Paris Agreement's goals, promoting sustainable development, and reaching net zero emissions by 2050 globally. However, for this contribution to materialize, carbon markets must embrace a high level of social, accounting, and environmental integrity to contribute to net-zero emissions by 2050. Without integrity, carbon markets will not scale up to the level required to be transformational.

Carbon markets, by leveraging climate finance from public and private sources, have the potential to provide direct financing to regions and areas that need it the most. If the appropriate safeguards are in place, carbon markets can accelerate the deployment of, and investment in, renewable energy, low-carbon technology, and nature-based solutions and unlock social and environmental benefits to local communities.

The session will present options for using carbon markets to strengthen NDC implementation. It will also review the current situation in the Voluntary Carbon Market and Article 6 and how these can increase NDC ambition and minimize implementation costs.

The side event will open with a speaker note introducing the role of carbon markets in raising climate action ambition and their potential to minimize global mitigation costs. This will include complementarities and differences between Article 6 market-based cooperation and the Voluntary Carbon Market to mobilize finance, strengthen NDC implementation, and increase NDC ambitions. The speaker note will highlight the problems arising from a lack of sufficient integrity in the market and the actions being taken to correct them, including the recently developed UN SG’s principles for carbon markets with integrity and credibility.

The speaker`s presentation will be followed by a round table of distinguished representatives from countries and market players to debate opportunities and challenges in leveraging carbon markets to support NDC implementation. This will be complemented with a Q&A session with the public and closing remarks.

Event`s Programme




13:15 – 13:25

Opening remarks

Rose Mwebaza, Director and Regional Representative, Africa Office

13:25 – 13:40

Setting the scene

Gabriel Labbate, Head, Climate Mitigation Unit, UNEP

13:40 – 14:30

Panel discussion and Q&A

  • Rose Mwebaza, Director and Regional Representative, Africa Office (in-person)
  • Mugwe Manga, Director, African Carbon Markets Initiative (in person)
  • Amy Merrill, CEO, Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (online)
  • Anne Lehman, CEO, People Forests Partnership (online)
  • Dirk Nimitz, Team Lead, AFOLU, UNFCCC (online)

14:30 – 14:40

Summing-up and key messages

Abhishek Kaushik, Senior Advisor- Carbon Markets, UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre

14:40 – 14:45

Closing remarks

Mirey Atallah, Chief, Adaptation and Resilience Branch, Ecosystem Division


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