Double counting of emissions reductions raises concerns among small island states

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Channel 5, Great Belize Television, Katowice, Poland

Countries gathered at the United Nations climate change summit in Poland have not been able to come to a consensus on certain points of the rulebook . One of the areas that the small island developing states are concerned about is the issue of double counting emission reductions. Here Carlos Fuller explains exactly what that issue is and why they have been sticking to it.

"In the Kyoto protocol, a market mechanism was established where a developed country could invest in a developing country to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, but the credit would then go to the country which actually invested in it," said Carlos Fuller, international and regional liaison officer of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and climate change negotiator.

"Now, in the case of the Paris Agreement, all countries would be on the same page. Now, some countries have said that within their own national boundaries they cannot reduce their greenhouse gases enough; they would then buy those credits from another country that had exceeded what they have done and then use that to meet their needs. So, for example, a country like Belize, where we might be able to generate more credits because of our forest resources, our use of renewable energy. If we exceed what we said we would do, then we can sell it to a country that does not meet it. Then, obviously, Belize can’t take credit for reducing a thousand tonnes and the other country says I reduced a thousand tonnes and I got it from Belize so it has two thousand tonnes and the atmosphere only sees one. So, that kind of double counting we want to ensure doesn’t happen because then the atmosphere would not feel it and then small island states who are feeling the impact of climate change would feel it.”