Shopping for article 6 rules
2 December 2019
In some parts of the world, today is cyber
Monday, one more day of consumption splurge. ECO is no fan of this consumerist
model, but in a conciliatory spirit, we have prepared a shopping list
nonetheless. And what better thing to hunt for on a day aimed at driving market
activity than a robust set of rules to establish the Paris Agreement’s
market mechanisms under article 6?
By the end of this COP, ECO hopes that Parties
will have agreed to a system which not only helps countries deliver on their
targets, but also helps increase emission reductions and ensures environmental
integrity. Parties might be used to hearing ECO complaining about Article 6,
but today ECO wants to just “think positive” about the market mechanisms.
First, the mechanism will generate new projects,
in the thousands, that will benefit (and not harm) local communities and
provide concrete sustainable development benefits in the countries that most
need it, notably LDCs and SIDS. Projects will be mainly small scale and focus
on transformative technologies. This will contribute to developing renewable
energy to provide access to electricity for poor communities, while respecting
the strictest rules on additionality and vulnerability, and setting baselines
well below business-as-usual.
While the most experienced readers will remember
the scars left by old Kyoto Protocol markets, these will only be a remnant of
the past, as none of the credits will have been transitioned into article 6
mechanisms, and only a few, high-quality projects will have made it to the next
level. Of course, all emission reductions will be accurately accounted for,
with no double counting, and the entire system will run through an
international transaction log connected to national accounts. All of which will
be perfectly transparent and allow ECO to peer through piles of well-organized
datasets to prepare its next celebratory articles. And there will be a robust governance system
to ensure human rights are respected, promoted, and considered including
through a set of social and environmental safeguards, meaningful stakeholder
participation requirements, and an independent grievance redress mechanism.
The markets will be used to help countries
increase their targets, by aiding the development and transfer of new technologies,
but countries will have no incentive to rely on international emission
reductions as a substitute to domestic efforts. Rather, they will reduce their
emissions and use markets only to go the extra mile. All credits will
contribute to reducing emissions as well, since an automatic partial
cancelation will be applied to ensure an overall reduction in emissions.
Finally, the new mechanisms will be channelling
highly needed climate finance to developing countries through the levy of a
share of proceeds on credits, that will provide funding for the Adaptation
ECO has a vision for article 6, and it is not
ready to bargain (SIC) – ECO believes you must only agree on rules that ensure
the principles highlighted above.