Article 6 capacity building needed: German adviser

  • Market: Emissions
  • 10/26/21

Developing countries hosting projects under Article 6 of the Paris climate agreement must have the necessary capacity in place to carry out carbon mitigation projects, a senior adviser to Germany's environment ministry said.

Capacity building should be put on the agenda in 2022, adviser Thomas Forth said in a recent paper, noting that the topic is not among the "meaningful and controversial topics" left over from the 2019 UN Cop 25 climate conference in Madrid, and so will not be addressed at Cop 26 in Glasgow next month.

The capacity to participate in emissions mitigation activities has "decreased dramatically", Forth said. The number of activities under the pre-2020 Kyoto protocol era Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has fallen, and the UN joint implementation mechanism has ended. As a result, the start of Article 6 may not be easy — it will not be a question of simply dealing with a few changes, "flip some switches", and then immediately setting about to work, Forth said.

Developing country representatives have repeatedly highlighted the need for capacity building, for instance at the June session of the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Board, and at many informal technical expert dialogues ahead of Cop 26, Forth said.

Article 6 should not see a repeat of the CDM, where first movers — mainly Brazil, India and China — dominated the market from the start, Forth said. It took other countries years to attract CDM projects, and some countries came too late to benefit from the CDM boom in the first commitment period in 2008-12.

Article 6 agreements are signed by parties with a view to generating so-called internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, which can be counted towards their nationally determined contributions (NDC) to the aims of the Paris deal.

Finalising the carbon trading rulebook under Article 6 is among the main goals of Cop 26, although some countries — notably Switzerland — have gone ahead and formed a number of agreements on the basis of the article, which will be amended as legislation evolves.


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