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Carbon Market Watch’s briefing note for the June 2019 Bonn UNFCCC session

Dear respected colleague,

Ahead of the Bonn Climate Change Conference 17-27 June 2019, Carbon Market Watch is pleased to share our recommendations for Article 6 negotiations.

Strong rules to avoid double-counting of emission reductions
There is a significant risk that emission reductions under the Paris Agreement could be counted towards two or more climate commitments which would water down efforts to keep the climate crisis in check.

It is, therefore, imperative to put in place strong accounting rules in order to efficiently track emission reductions and to prevent that they are counted multiple times such as both towards countries’ national mitigation objectives (NDCs) and offsetting obligations of airlines under the future aviation offsetting scheme CORSIA.

Markets need to go beyond zero-sum offsetting
Increasing ambition over time is at the core of the Paris Agreement and must be reflected in the implementation of Article 6. In this spirit, any perverse incentives undermining climate action, such as allowing countries to sell credits from sectors or gases that are not covered by their nationally determined contributions, must be avoided.

Furthermore, if we are to meet our global climate objectives, it is of paramount importance that the market provisions of the Paris Agreement reduce overall emissions instead of merely shifting them from one place to another or worse, increasing them.

Pure offsetting is fundamentally incompatible with the Paris Agreement, and its market provisions must be set up to gradually phase it out. This starts by requiring the cancellation of some credits to go beyond the zero-sum game of offsetting under Article 6.

Learning from past mistakes
Allowing old credits from the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms to be used after 2020 would seriously undermine global progress towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s objective as countries would be able to rely on extremely cheap credits with questionable environmental and social integrity.

Finally, it is crucial to learn from past mistakes and the serious violations of human rights that have taken place under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). All climate mitigation projects should involve local stakeholders in the decisionmaking process before and during their implementation. Local communities must also be given access to a grievance mechanism that is governed by an independent body. Not only should the Article 6 projects “do no harm”, but they should also actively contribute to promoting sustainable development and improving the lives of local communities.

For the Bonn Climate Change Conference, Carbon Market Watch makes the following recommendations:

Key recommendations:

  • Avoid double counting by requiring the application of corresponding adjustments for the transfer of every credit/unit under Article 6, and by establishing comprehensive transparency rules to connect Article 6 with the Transparency Framework.
  • Do not allow any pre-2020 units for use towards NDCs, and re-assess all pre-2020 projects against stringent quality criteria.
  • Establish a grievance mechanism governed by an independent body and require that stakeholders be consulted before and during the implementation of any Article 6 project.
  • Adopt a partial cancellation rate for application to each Article 6 credit/unit.
  • Adopt conservative baselines, at a minimum in line with a host country’s NDC, and which prevent the issuance of any hot air credit.



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