Article 6 of the Paris Agreement establishes a broad framework for voluntary cooperation among Parties in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The Article sets out three approaches through which Parties may voluntarily interact: 1.) “bottom up,” bilateral or regional cooperative approaches via internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs), 2.) a centrally-governed UNFCCC mechanism to contribute to mitigation and support sustainable development, and 3.) non-market approaches (these are outlined in Article 6.2, 6.4 and 6.8, respectively). In line with the principles of the Convention, every Party can determine its preferred approach in this new architecture and choose whether to participate. As its capabilities and national circumstances evolve, a country may choose to use one or multiple approaches.
Approximately half of all current NDCs demonstrate interest in fulfilling a portion of their emission reduction targets (unconditional or conditional) using international market-based approaches,1 which may take the form of emission trading or similar mechanisms. The effective implementation of Article 6.2 can support such approaches, stimulating efficient, bottom-up, voluntary cooperation between Parties to implement existing NDCs and strengthen the ambition of mitigation actions over time. Encouraging the transfer of high-quality emission reductions generated in all sectors, including the land sector, can drive needed flows of finance to mitigation actions addressing both sources and sinks, particularly in developing countries.
This paper, which builds upon a previous non-Party stakeholder submission from a subset of these organizations, addresses key questions and issues in the implementation of Article 6.2, with a focus on the guidance needed to appropriately account for ITMOs.