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UN climate negotiations must ensure COP26 does not widen loopholes on carbon markets

Communities in the Niger Delta are being devastated by oil spills, gas flaring, polluted water and human rights abuses.

As governments meet for online UN climate negotiations ahead of COP26, ActionAid raises concerns that carbon markets could be used by polluters to continue ‘business as usual’ and fail to deliver the emission cuts needed to avert runaway climate change.

The meeting of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) from 31 May to 17 June, will see governments discuss Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which will decide the rules governing global carbon markets.

Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator for ActionAid International says:

“As corporations and governments rush to declare ‘net zero’ climate targets, negotiations on carbon markets are under the spotlight. 

“ActionAid has serious concerns about the role of carbon offsets in achieving climate goals, as they make it all too easy for polluters to hide the fact that they are not making the real emission cuts that the planet urgently needs.

“UN climate negotiations must ensure that COP26 doesn’t crank open loopholes that let polluters carry on business-as-usual, while buying carbon offsets to claim they are meeting net zero climate targets.”

ActionAid is also concerned that the negotiations are not scheduled to discuss the critical issue of loss and damage finance.  

Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator for ActionAid International says:

“It’s outrageous that governments aren’t even planning to discuss how to deliver funding to address the impacts of climate change in the Global South. For all their climate rhetoric, the world’s richest nations are turning their backs on those whose lives are already being devastated by cyclones, floods and rising sea levels.

“Governments must put the issue of loss and damage finance on the table and ensure that a decision is taken at COP26 to provide real support to vulnerable communities in the Global South.”


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