YK Poudel


In the pursuit of addressing climate change, a prominent objective stands out—a 43 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to cap global heating at 1.5°C.

The COP28 witnessed discussions among parties on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, a crucial element emphasised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and leading climate scientists to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

A report from the UN Climate Change underscores a disparity between this imperative goal and current commitments in national climate plans. The outlined trajectory would result in a 9 percent increase in emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.

A pressing concern emerges regarding how developing and least developed countries can present ambitious climate pledges under the Paris Agreement. Many lack the means and resources for a comprehensive transition toward a low-emissions future.

The Paris Agreement proves instrumental in such scenarios, fostering international cooperation to address climate change and unlock financial support for developing countries. Article 6 introduces three pivotal tools:

Article 6.2: Enables countries to exchange mitigation outcomes bilaterally, report their trade, and use them toward their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Article 6.4: Establishes a new UNFCCC mechanism for the validation, verification, and issuance of high-quality carbon credits.

Article 6.8: Provides opportunities for countries to cooperate toward the achievement of their NDCs without relying on carbon markets.

The linchpin of these efforts is the UN’s new high-integrity carbon crediting mechanism, uniquely positioned under Article 6.4, allowing countries to elevate climate ambition and implement national action plans more affordably.

The discussion on Article 6.2 at COP28 delves into various technical elements, allowing countries to exchange carbon credits and other units like renewable power directly through bilateral agreements.

The focus areas include the authorisation of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) and an international registry, with considerations on its interaction with the Article 6.4 registry.

Article 6.4 aims to operationalise a new international carbon crediting mechanism. Recently agreed recommendations and guidance on methodologies and greenhouse gas removals under this mechanism are under consideration by the CMA (Parties to the Paris Agreement) in Dubai.

Upon the adoption of the guidance by CMA, new methodologies can be submitted under the Article 6.4 mechanism.

A media release indicates that parties are scrutinising the recommended guidance for greenhouse gas removals within the broader context provided by the technical experts of the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body.

Parties are tasked with providing additional guidance for the Supervisory Body to develop detailed standards and tools required for the operationalization of the new Paris-era crediting mechanism.

The process identifies and encourages opportunities for verifiable emission reductions, attracting funding to implement them, and facilitating cooperation among countries and other groups to conduct and benefit from these activities.

A significant benefit of the process is its potential as a source of climate finance for developing nations, with a share of proceeds going towards adaptation funding to build resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change.

Article 6.8 provides parties with opportunities for non-market-based cooperation to implement mitigation and adaptation actions. Key areas of benefit include promoting ambition, enhancing the participation of public and private sectors and civil society organisations in the implementation of NDCs, and enabling opportunities for coordination across instruments and relevant institutional arrangements.

The full implementation of Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement occurred after COP27. Parties involved are yet to receive the complete document of the outcome discussed.