Catalyzing International Emissions Trading Under the Paris Climate Agreement

What is needed to ensure high-integrity emissions trading among countries?

With effective rules on transparency and robust accounting, international emissions trading can mobilize significant private sector investment and help the world meet the ambitious climate and development goals established in the Paris agreement. These rules should form the bedrock of the international accord’s carbon market provisions under Article 6. The content of these rules needs to be determined by countries as part of the continuing process of negotiating the Paris agreement ‘rulebook.’

The details of accounting and transparency may sometimes sound boring and technical. But these details constitute the essential “nuts and bolts” of the Paris agreement, and are critical to avoiding real risks of “double counting” of emissions reductions. The content of these rules is as important as countries’ headline climate targets, since the headline numbers are only as good as our ability to ensure countries are clearly reducing emissions and counting those reductions consistently.

Businesses know this. During COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, more than 50 companies, business groups and non-governmental organizations, representing an employment footprint of more than a billion people from 130 countries signed the Declaration on Sound Carbon Accounting.

The resources below are intended to contribute to ongoing international efforts to conclude effective guidance to countries on counting and reporting international transfers of emissions reductions (also known as internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, or “ITMOs,” under Article 6 of the Paris agreement).

Article 6 primer

Carbon markets and ambition

Resources Analysis

Double counting/corresponding adjustments

Resources Analysis

Clean Development Mechanism

Resources Analysis

Updates on our climate work

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