If there is no agreement by the end of COP25, the issue will be taken to COP26 in Glasgow in December 2020, so the UK will set aside diplomatic progress to get it over the line. “How these rules are adopted will decide or really break the ambition of the Paris Agreement,” said Kelly Levin, senior associate at the World Resources Institute, adding that weak rules “could lead to an increase in global emissions.” This reduction means that problems and red lines can again be exchanged, while negotiators work on an agreement within the entire Article 6 regulatory framework. There could also be attempts to link these discussions to other policy priorities at the COP, which could further complicate matters. More progressive negotiating blocs argue that all markets must abide by this principle, otherwise the system will be distorted. Dirk Forrister, President of IETA, presents another potential utility of international trade. He tells Carbon Brief that the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offset all those left with extraction is not evenly distributed around the world. There is therefore disagreement as to whether – and if so, how – the many mitigation methods, projects and emission credits of the Kyoto era should be placed on the market under Article 6.4. There are strong differences of opinion on how the OMGE should be guaranteed in practice. A politically charged sore point in the Article 6 negotiations has been how to ensure that a “significant share” of the proceeds of trade are used to support adaptation in vulnerable countries. This is explained in Article 6.6, which states in the COP that the issue of taking into account emission reductions transmitted in accordance with Article 6.4 remains a major point of contention. Sound accounting rules are essential to ensure that emission reductions cannot be counted more than once (double counting) and that the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement is preserved. Another sore point is the question of how to manage the quotas generated under the Kyoto Protocol and whether countries can use them under the Paris Agreement.

No agreement has been reached on the introduction of fees to support adaptation measures, as was the case under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). In view of these and other points, the parties deferred the Article 6 decision to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference. The three separate mechanisms – in accordance with Articles 6.2, 6.4 and 6.8 – have all been part of the Paris Agreement in recognition of the different interests and priorities between the parties to the agreement. . . .

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