Side Event international potential for CO2 Performance Ladder on COP21 Paris

On Friday December 4th SKAO organised an official Side Event on the COP21 in Paris, about the international potential for the CO2 Performance Ladder and possible strategies for international rollout.


It is clear that the instrument is a success in The Netherlands, with over 700 certificates and frequent use in big tenders. In his presentation, Gijs Termeer, manager of SKAO, elaborated on the effect the ladder has had on the Dutch infrastructure sector, the development to other sectors and the successful use or the instrument in tenders in the Netherlands.


Yvo de Boer, head of the GGGI, former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and former board member of SKAO, think the ladder it the sustainability instrument of choice for international rollout. He recently recommended it to the Indian minister of Rail. De Boer doesn’t know of any other instruments that sets a clear relation between procurement and carbon reduction. These kind of innovative instruments, that assign value to CO2, are very much needed in the Netherlands and also internationally. Yvo de Boer sees the most potential for the ladder in international public procurement.


Michael Westphal of the World Resources Institute, the organisation that manages and develops the Greenhouse Gas Protocol on which parts of the ladder are based, would change a few items on the instrument before international upscaling. Organisations’ carbon reduction ambitions should be aligned with the maximum two degrees target, with for example a “science based target setting” approach. With a few adjustments for the international market he sees a lot of potential.


How should we continue? The audience provide good suggestions for international potential for the CO2 Performance Ladder. That the spread of use of the ladder due to financial advantage in tenders is like an “oil stain”, a metaphor that Yvo de Boer does not find particularly appropriate on a climate conference, is mentioned often. If somewhere a first implementation is done, the use of the instrument could expand quickly. Essential are the right network to promote the system outside of the Netherlands and connections with Dutch embassies, according to the audience.  


It was a lively discussion in the full room with useful suggestions from the panel and the audience. It resulted in multiple interesting international contacts for SKAO and invitations to elaborate further on this topic.