As the first truly universal climate deal, where all countries will contribute to the climate action effort, the Paris Agreement marks a significant shift for international climate governance.

Under the bottom-up agreement, countries will define the level and nature of their contributions, expressed in so-called NDCs. Climate policies may then be implemented unilaterally or in cooperation with other countries and non-state actors. The Paris Agreement explicitly recognises countries’ ability to engage in “cooperative approaches” in Article 6, both through market- and non-market approaches.

The mention of “internationally transferred mitigation outcomes” specifically opens up for different forms of carbon market cooperation, including linking and the emergence of carbon market clubs.

Collaboration on climate action can provide for some degree of convergence between national efforts as well as for enhanced ambition by reducing costs of implementation and concerns of free-riding. A broad uptake of climate mitigation measures and collaboration in their implementation can thus help lower competitiveness and leakage concerns, and decrease the perceived need for potentially trade-distortive and often sub-optimal protection measures.

The trade system has an important role in supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement, not least by fostering a scale-up of climate friendly technologies and supporting the development of plurilateral action. At the same time, the myriad of climate polices under the bottom-up approach will likely generate spillover effects on other countries through trade and will in some cases test the limits of the trade rules.

There is hence a need to reconsider the role of trade in relation to the implementation of the NDCs and the Paris Agreement in order to ensure that trade is supportive of climate action and to recognise that trade flows will be altered by climate action; such changes will need to be well-understood and measures implemented to prevent them from undermining climate goals.

Against this background, ICTSD convened a private roundtable discussion with chief climate negotiators and/or country ambassadors in Bonn at the occasion of the UNFCCC meeting, which served to assess the emerging  trade-climate change interlinkages in the post-Paris context.  

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Bonn, Germany
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Monday, 23 May 2016 - 2:53pm

The new climate agreement, reached in Paris in December 2015, covers markets and non-market approaches in Article 6. While this is an important achievement of the Paris Agreement, operationalising the article will require a substantial amount of political and technical decisions to be taken.

This meeting was the first meeting of the project "Forum on the implementation of markets and non-market provisions in the Paris Agreement (Article 6)". The informal discussion sought to explore, discover, explain and understand different points of view related to the issues in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement in order to contribute towards arriving at a common understanding so that the opportunities for collaboration are seized and effectively contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

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International Cooperation Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: Reflections Before SB 44
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Sunday, 15 May 2016 - 9:00am

The Paris Agreement clearly recognises market- and non-market approaches as important elements in the climate change mitigation effort. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement includes several provisions to this end. However, before the agreement enters into force, a substantial amount of work needs to be done at the political and technical level in order to operationalise this article.

Broadly speaking, the provisions in Article 6 cover cooperative approaches generally (6.1), international transfers of mitigation outcomes (6.2-6.3), a new mechanism to contribute to mitigation and support sustainable development (6.4-6.7), and a framework for non-market approaches (6.8-6.9).

The language in Article 6 is, however, rather broad and leaves scope for interpretation. It is thus necessary to arrive at a common understanding and consensus on the concrete meaning of the various provisions in order to help ensure that the opportunities for collaboration are seized and effectively contribute to achieving the agreement’s goals. Moreover, operationalising the article will also require technical work, such as establishing the modalities and procedures for the new mechanism or defining the accounting guidance for internationally transferred mitigation outcomes.  

The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) are organising this side event at the UNFCCC’s SB 44. The event will provide for a discussion on the interpretation of Article 6 as well as the work programme included in the COP Decision.

The event fostered an exchange of perspectives within the international climate community with a view to informing the operationalisation of an effective framework for cooperative approaches. 

Following an overview of the market- and non-market provisions included in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, a diverse panel provided insights into the spectrum of countries’ perspectives on the issue. This was followed by a Q&A with the audience.

The event took place on Friday, 20 May at 13:15-14:45 in Room Bonn I/II of the World Conference Center Bonn.

 

 

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Date: Friday, 20 May 2016

Time: 13:15-14:45

Please note that participants must be in possession of valid UNFCCC registration to attend the event.

Date period: 
Friday, 20 May 2016 - 4:27pm