Commentary: Sustainable development in the Article 6 drafts

A brief analysis on the current status of sustainable development provisions in the Paris Agreement Article 6 draft shows some synergies despite challenges.

July 8, 2019

Despite good elements and clear steps forward, a new analysis on the progress of sustainable development in the Article 6 negotiations under the Paris Agreement shows that more can be done to integrate the agendas of sustainable development and climate action.

The analysis, and subsequent commentary aim at providing a brief update and insights on the current status of sustainable development provisions in the Article 6 draft.

Download the “Commentary on the current state of sustainable development provisions in the Article 6 ‘rulebook’ negotiations following the 50th Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies to the UN Climate Convention in Bonn, Germany” here.

On the to-do list for COP25

The Paris Agreement includes cooperation mechanisms when implementing NDCs. They are designed to  not only make it easier to achieve existing reduction targets, but also to raise ambition in future efforts. The cooperation mechanisms enshrined in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement form the legal framework to allow use of market-based climate change mitigation mechanisms.

Unfortunately during the COP24 in 2018, an agreement on Article 6 was not reached, and so Article 6 rules were added to the to-do list for COP25.

The commentary is published by the Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI), which is organized by UNEP DTU Partnership and the Gold Standard Foundation in close collaboration with the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST).

No crucial role

At the 50th meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Climate Convention (SB 50) in  June, negotiators on Article 6, the only element that remained incomplete after COP 24 in Katowice, came together. The objective of the negotiations was to draft a text, that could form the basis of an agreement on Article 6 at COP in Chile later this year.

Negotiations in Bonn showed that the topic of sustainable development, despite several mentions in the Article 6 text, does not play a crucial role in discussions. It can however be considered a step forward, that sustainable development provisions still are to be found in the lates SB 50 drafts.

The commentary look at the three approaches in the use of international cooperation mechanisms, offered in the Paris Agreement, Article 6.2 on cooperative approaches, Article 6.4 on mechanism and Article 6.8 on non—market approaches.