Conference of Parties (COP)
COP 26 Glasglow
The COP26 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will happen on 1 – 12 November 2021, hosted by the UK, at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.
COP 25 Madrid
The COP 25 took place from the 2nd to the 13th of December, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Initially, the 25th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties was meant to be held in Santiago, Chile. The UN climate conference drew 20,000 experts to Madrid.
COP 24 Katowice
COP 24, held in Katowice between the 2nd and 15th of December 2018, was aimed at setting the implementation rules Paris Agreement achieved during COP 21 in 2015 and shaping a joint global climate policy
The decisions comprise the ‘rulebook’ of the Paris Agreement, providing its operational interpretation and top-down direction to complement the bottom-up approach of ‘nationally determined contributions’ (NDCs).
Additionally, the Katowice Climate Package sets out:
- A regime for transparency and accountability, with common rules for measuring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, finance and adaptation;
- Defines processes for the five-yearly global stocktake of the effectiveness of climate action, which includes information – gathering, a technical assessment and a consideration of the outputs; and
- Establishes a committee to review non – performance of parties (such as failure to submit NDCs or rep orts or not acting on technical reviews), with the consent of the concerned party.
However, no agreement could be reached on some difficult questions such as a pathway to scale up the existing commitments on cutting emissions, the financing of poor countries’ related activities, wording to prevent double counting and precise criteria to identifying whether countries are doing enough to cut their emissions.
COP 21 Paris – The cornerstone of the international climate engagement
The COP21 meeting which took place in Paris from end November till early December 2015, was aimed at reaching a global climate agreement.
It is only one day after the official end date that the 196 countries present at the conference were able to find an agreement aiming at limiting global warming to “well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃”. Europe’s leadership was instrumental to overcome substantial diverging interests and views among countries participating in the UN’s COP21 meeting in Paris in 2015. As a result, the conference agreed an ambitious target to limit global temperature rises and a binding commitment to submit national plans for ever-greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. From now, the EU refining industry needs a framework in which it can show how to satisfy the growing global demand for energy while at the same time limiting GHG emissions. This is one of the most critical challenges of our time.
The EU negotiators’ team should be commended for their efforts to help other countries developing comparable regulatory tools. Further efforts will be needed to ensure that this will lead to effective global action and equitable commitments from all parties of the agreement, leading in turn to the establishment of a competitive level playing field among world economies.
The international efforts to address the risks of climate change are of course supported by FuelsEurope the European refiners which it represents. These are uniquely qualified to contribute to these efforts, however, they can only do so on a competitive level playing field.
Maintaining Refining operations in the EU will contribute to reduce GHG emissions
The best way to minimise global GHG emissions, given the continuing need for oil products in Europe, is to manufacture them in the EU. By contrast, an increasing dependency of EU consumers on non-EU refineries implies a weakening of the efforts to reduce global warming.
So it is essential that EU energy and environment policies be considered in a global context. If regulations continue to force up the relative cost of refining oil in the EU, European refiners could lose further market shares. The result would be more imports of refined products, meaning that a greater proportion would be produced in facilities that are less energy-efficient than those in the EU. This would constitute carbon leakage and defeat the purpose of the EU policies.
FuelsEurope therefore calls for efforts to ensure that the COP21 agreement will lead to equitable commitments from all parties to the agreement and a level playing field for the industry worldwide.
Revenue-neutral market-based mechanisms, including carbon pricing under the right circumstances, are a more economically efficient way to drive the reduction of GHG emissions than industry-specific regulation, technology mandates or performance standards.
There should also be a universal regime for monitoring, reporting and verification. Until the main economies have effectively engaged in similar climate policies to the EU, carbon leakage protection should be introduced to help EU industries that are exposed to unbalanced international competition.