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Remedying Discord in the Accord

Accounting Rules for Annex I Pledges in a Post-2012 Climate Agreement

This paper provides recommendations and options for harmonizing accounting rules for developed country, or Annex I, emissions reduction pledges for a post-2012 climate policy under discussion in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change‘s (UNFCCC) Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) negotiations track.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

This paper addresses accounting rules relating to developed country, or Annex I, emissions reduction pledges for a post-2012 climate policy under discussion in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) negotiations track. These accounting rules are closely linked to the need to clarify the assumptions of Annex I emissions reduction pledges inscribed in the Copenhagen Accord. In addition, accounting rules for Annex I pledges are necessary for tracking aggregate performance toward meeting global temperature targets and for assessing and comparing emissions reductions. Options are provided for consideration by Parties to address the following issues:

  • coverage of greenhouse gases and sectors;
  • accounting rules for land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) emissions reductions and enhanced removals;
  • accounting rules for domestic and international offsets, including avoiding double counting; and
  • surplus emissions allowances remaining from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

This paper explores the implications of the failure to develop harmonized accounting rules for the above elements, and provides options to mitigate the consequences of unharmonized rules.

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