Sustainable development successfully included in Article 6 rulebook

Policy recommendations to promote sustainable development in Article 6 activities were included in the rulebook agreed at COP26

March 23, 2022

With the Glasgow Climate Pact adopted at COP26, the Article 6 component of the Paris Agreement rulebook – a long-time outstanding hurdle – was finally finished.

For the Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI) the sustainable development provisions in the Article 6 decisions marked the successful conclusion of six years’ focus on the negotiations. SDI position papers and observer submissions to promote sustainable development found their way to the final rulebook, paving the way for implementation.

Since 2017, the SDI has been working as a Party-driven dialogue with the aim to help overcome knowledge and political barriers for Parties and practitioners to promote sustainable development (SD) through voluntary cooperation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The initiative is a collaboration between UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (formerly the UNEP DTU Partnership – renamed since 1 March 2022) and the Gold Standard Foundation  supported by Germany, Norway, Sweden and Finland 2021-23

Looking ahead

The agreement reached at COP26 on an Article 6 rulebook marks the successful conclusion for the original goal of the SDI since its beginning, namely the promotion of sustainable development in carbon markets enabled by sustainable development text provisions in the Article 6 rulebook. At the same time, the agreement opens new opportunities for action by the SDI, which will from now on focus on the implementation of the sustainable development provisions agreed in Glasgow.

A community of practitioners

Together with partners such as the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition, the Wuppertal Institute, the Asian Development Bank and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the SDI will continue to follow the UNFCCC Article 6 negotiations and support Parties, the Secretariat and other stakeholders with the development of tools and guides to promote sustainable development in practice.

This will be done to enable the sustainable development provisions are translated into real and measurable impact in carbon market activities while safeguarding them from environmental and social harm.

The capacity building that Parties need after Glasgow can be enhanced by fostering a community of practitioners and stakeholders, where Parties and other actors can share their knowledge and experiences on the implementation of sustainable development provisions. At the same time, such a community supported by the SDI could become a place to share and use existing and new knowledge products and be a platform to promote sustainable development and ambition raising beyond UNFCCC negotiations.