COP 26: Implementing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

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

International emissions trading under Article 6 will once again be in the spotlight at the November 2021 UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland (COP 26). While the significant progress made on carbon market rules at COP 25 in Madrid is already helping to kickstart emissions trading agreements between individual countries, countries were ultimately unable to reach full agreement, and negotiations continue. In Glasgow, countries will try to finalize this last remaining piece of the Paris Agreement rulebook. Below we provide resources that highlight the need for effective rules on transparency and robust accounting.

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, if agreed, would form the bedrock of the international accord’s carbon market mechanisms under Article 6. Countries need to determine the content of these rules, which will become part of the Paris Agreement 'rulebook.' Negotiations over these rules will continue in COP 26 in Glasgow.

The details of accounting and transparency 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 25 in Madrid, 64 companies, business groups and non-governmental organizations representing more than 1 billion workers in 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

Double counting/corresponding adjustments

Clean Development Mechanism

Updates on our climate work

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Date updated: August 17, 2021