CAT scheme urged for new cuts
Experts are working on better ways for countries to collaborate on carbon credits.
A new model suggests small groups of countries can work together to reduce their emissions by forming ‘Climate Action Teams’ (CATs) that reward emissions reductions beyond national commitments.
A CAT is an innovative way to make international climate cooperation work, speeding up ambitious climate emissions reductions while ensuring environmental integrity.
Within a CAT, a small, high-trust group of countries cooperate to increase their climate emissions reductions, beyond their nationally-determined contribution (NDC) commitments.
The resulting reductions are transferred as carbon credits from seller to buyer countries.
Carbon markets allow resources for climate change mitigation to be allocated more efficiently. The United Nations reports that global cooperation to reduce emissions using market mechanisms could reduce the costs of meeting 2030 NDCs by 40 to 60 per cent.
However, there have been concerns carbon markets could reduce the ambition of buyer countries, if they can buy cheap credits from countries with low emission reduction commitments.
CATs are seen as a way to avoid the problems of the Kyoto Protocol era, when some nations used cheap, low-integrity carbon credits from other countries, discouraging climate action at home.
CATs will only reward emissions reductions beyond already ambitious national commitments. The CAT approach emphasises cooperation to ensure mitigation investment benefits both the host country and the climate.