Rules for the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement are still under negotiation at the international level. This report explores three key unresolved issues that are closely interrelated and that can considerably impact the global emissions outcome from using Article 6 as well as the amount of revenues generated to help meet the adaptation needs of particularly vulnerable developing countries.
These unresolved issues are:
- OMGE: the percentage of emission reduction credits to be cancelled in order to deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE) under Article 6.4(d), and the application of OMGE to transfers under Article 6.2;
- SOP: the percentage of emission reduction credits to be set aside as a share of proceeds (SOP) for adaptation under Articles 6.4 and 6.6, and the application of a SOP to transfers under Article 6.2;
- Transition: the proposed transition of certified emission reductions (CERs) and/or categories of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project activities from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement.
The report explores the potential quantitative implications of different policy choices on these matters, both in isolation and in combination with each other, with the aim to support decision making in the context of the ongoing international climate change negotiations.
- Net global abatement increases with increasing OMGE cancellation rates across all OMGE scenarios considered, with emissions decreasing in both buyer countries as well as – to a lesser extent – host countries. A 30% OMGE rate could deliver about 800 MtCO2 of additional abatement over the period 2021-2030, avoiding roughly $45-181 billion in global damages. 800 MtCO2 is roughly equivalent to 6 months’ worth of total GHG emissions from all 46 LDC countries combined, or two years’ worth of emissions from all AOSIS countries.
- Credit prices, market revenues, and project owner profits increase with increasing OMGE cancellation rates, while buyers cost savings from using credits decrease.
- Higher percentage levels of SOP lead to increased levels of revenue for the Adaptation Fund across all SOP scenarios considered.
- Net global abatement is unaffected by SOP. Host country emissions increase, while buyer country emissions decrease by an equivalent amount.
- Credit prices and market revenues increase with increasing SOP rates, while project owner profits and buyer cost savings decrease.
For OMGE and SOP applied in combination, with no CDM transition:
- Global GHG abatement increases across all OMGE and SOP scenario considered, with the most pronounced impact where a 30% OMGE rate is applied.
- SOP revenues increase with higher levels of OMGE because the increase in the credit price at which the Adaptation Fund can monetise credits outweighs the reduction in the quantity of credits transacted. An SOP rate of 5% could raise €2.7- 4.6 billion in resources for adaptation over the 2021-2030 period, depending on the rate of OMGE applied (2-30%).
For CDM CP2 CER transition:
- The transition of CP2 CERs leads to an increase in global GHG emissions corresponding directly to the number of CP2 CERs transitioned (up to 320 MtCO2e if projects registered on or after 1 January 2013 were eligible for transition).
For CDM activity transition:
- CDM activity transition can either undermine the host country’s ability to achieve its NDC or increase global emissions, due to the large number of CDM project activities that are not dependent on carbon market revenues to continue abatement (by about 763 MtCO2e if 30% of all CDM projects were to transition).
- No transition or limiting transition to vulnerable CDM project activities – those at risk of discontinuing GHG abatement without carbon credit revenues – does not pose such a risk.
For combinations of CDM activity transition, OMGE and SOP:
- Scenarios in which only vulnerable CDM activities are eligible to transition lead to the largest potential reductions in global GHG emissions, but this relies on a robust assessment process for approving transition that categorically avoids authorising any activities that would continue abatement regardless.
- SOP revenues remain similar to OMGE and SOP policy combination scenarios with no activity transition.
For any differentiation between OMGE and SOP requirements for 6.2 and 6.4:
- Applying SOP and OMGE to credits issued by the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body, without applying the same elements to all ITMO transfers under Article 6.2, may jeopardise the climate mitigation and adaptation benefits sought by Article 6.4’s SOP and OMGE requirements.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
No change to warming as fossil fuel endgame brings focus onto false solutions
The CAT's annual warming estimate has risen by 0.1˚C to 2.5˚C. The estimate is largely influenced by weak existing targets rather than shifts triggered by updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.
The effects of political knowledge use by developing country negotiators in Loss and Damage negotiations
This article traces how developing country negotiators used knowledge to further their interests in loss and damage negotiations from 2003 to 2013.
Railway development: lessons for the EU
This paper analyses how EU railway policy for a low-carbon future can be enhanced, drawing insights from Japan and Switzerland.