CO2 reductions are expected to offset emissions from air transport under the International Civil Aviation Authority`s (ICAO) Corsia system, although they are not mentioned directly in the Paris text. (Corsia is the United Nations system for compensating for flight emissions.) Somewhat enigmatically, the draft regulation of Article 6.4 refers instead to “purposes other than contributions to CNN” with a language that could cover Corsia or other future systems. These “Article 6” rules on carbon markets and other forms of international cooperation are the last piece of the Paris regime to be resolved after the rest of its “regulatory corpus” was adopted at the end of 2018. If there is no agreement by the end of COP25, the issue will be transferred to COP26 in Glasgow in December 2020, so that the UK will advance diplomatic progress to get it through. The precise approach to avoiding the use of emissions reductions by more than one country is one area of significant divergence. It is closely linked to the idea of double counting within the meaning of Article 6.2, with both questions being asked about what is considered “internal” and “outside” the scope of a country`s PNNMs, with some commitments covering only part of the economy. The graph also shows how the draft texts of Article 6 seem to have receded after discussions in Bonn in June 2019 (right column in the graph). The draft legislation of Article 6.2, Article 6.4 and Article 6.8 includes, on the one hand, 41 pages containing 672 brackets. “It`s hard to imagine how countries will agree on the right options and the right accounting rules and methods, when we can`t even have an agreement to eliminate those that are clearly incompatible… I mean, it`s not even a climate atmosphere, in many cases it`s common sense. The challenge this presents stems from the fact that Article 6 was the only part of the Paris regulatory framework that could not be agreed at COP24 in December 2018. This short text contains three distinct mechanisms of “voluntary cooperation” within the framework of climate targets: two on the basis of markets and a third on “non-market-related approaches”. The text describes the requirements for the parties involved, but leaves the details – the “regulatory framework” provided for in Article 6 – undecided. However, considerable progress has been made in Madrid on technical issues.
It is also positive to note that, on the last day of the conference, a group of countries led by Costa Rica and Switzerland launched the “San José Declaration”, which established quality standards for the integrity of transactions in accordance with Article 6 and quickly received support from 31 countries. It remains to be seen whether the principles agreed in the declaration can mark negotiations on the Article 6 regulatory framework and help overcome the political differences that prevail in abundance. The ongoing negotiations will be critical to the future role of market mechanisms and will also largely determine how the parties can cooperate in the implementation of their national contributions (CNN). This highlights a reason for disagreement with Article 6.4, namely that cdM hosts did not have specific Kyoto emission reduction targets, meaning that economies cannot be “counted twice” towards more than one target. A similar menu of options is discussed for the section 6.4 regulatory framework. Here, too, the option is to provide a temporary exemption for credits negotiated outside the scope of an NDC. This reduction means that emissions and red lines can be exchanged for each other, while negotiators seek to reach agreement on the article 6 regulatory framework. There may also be attempts to link these discussions to other COP political priorities, further complicating matters.
The last unresolved element of the Paris “Regulatory Framework” agreement, the Article 6 negotiations have symbolic significance for the general regime, which is expected to enter into force in early 2020.