Essay: Weighting: 35%.
Length: 1200 words (excluding references).
The Paris Agreement was agreed to in 2015, and most of the ‘Paris Rule Book’ to make the Agreement operational was agreed in 2018. The one issue that was not agreed in the 2018 rule book was carbon markets under article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
At the most recent UNFCCC negotiations in June 2019 in Bonn, Germany, Parties discussed Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which would support countries to meet a part of their domestic goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions through the use of so-called “market mechanisms”.
You will need to write a short essay on the state of Article 6 negotiations for the Paris Rulebook.
The essay should address:
a) what was agreed in Paris on carbon markets [Article 6] and what was not agreed;
b) what is the current state of the rule book negotiations for Article 6. The latest negotiating text from the June Bonn 2019 session can be found here;
c) what is the current state of discussions and any existing points of agreement or disagreement (this could include any particularly interesting party proposals as posted on the UNFCCC website under the submission portal);
d) suggestions on ways forward for negotiations, including a justification and specific negotiating text recommendations, and;
e) a conclusion on the prospects of negotiations.
You should justify your recommendations both in terms of feasibility (will it overcome points of disagreement and if so why) and effectiveness (will it create an effective Paris framework that will help change party behaviour). In addition, the linkages between this issue and other Paris Rulebook decisions that need to made.
Make sure that your analysis and conclusions are honest and accurate. If the current state of negotiations would only allow for a politically feasible compromise, but an ineffective outcome, then say so.
For further information on Article 6 see: Matters relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and paragraphs 36–40 of decision 1/CP.21 (Paris Decision text) as outlined here
Other helpful sources of data for the assignment will be: Party submissions on new market mechanisms or via the UNFCCC Submissions Portal. On the top bar, click on “Type”, then select “Submission”. You can then select which body you want to see submissions for by clicking on “Body”.
Party submissions and other documentation can be complemented by using coverage of the negotiation from sources such as IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin and other credible media.
The following reading list may be a useful starting point for your research:
· Asian Development Bank (2018) Decoding Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Manila.
· Howard (2017). Voluntary Cooperation (Article 16). In D. Klein, M. P. Carazo, M. Doelle, J. Bulmer, & A. Higham (Eds.), The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: Analysis and Commentary (1st Edition, pp. 319–337). Oxford University Press.
· La Hoz Theur et al. (2019) When less is more: limits to international transfers under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Climate Policy, 19(4), pp. 401-413
· Marcu (2017) Governance of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and Lessons Learned from the Kyoto Protocol. Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo.
· Michaelowa et al. (2019). Additionality revisited: guarding the integrity of market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement. Climate Policy.
· Muller & Michaelowa (2019) How to operationalize accounting under Article 6 market mechanisms of the Paris Agreement. Climate Policy, 19(7), pp. 812-819.
· New Climate Institute (2018) Opportunities and safeguards for ambition raising through Article 6.
· Schneider & La Hoz Theuer (2018) Environmental integrity of international carbon market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement. Climate Policy, 19(3), pp.386-400.
· Schneider et al. (2017) Robust Accounting of International Transfers under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. German Emissions Trading Authority, Berlin.
· Spalding-Fecher (2017) Article 6.4 crediting outside of NDC commitments under the Paris Agreement: issues and options. Carbon Limits, Oslo.
There is no set structure or approach for the essay, as long as you cover the necessary components of the analysis as listed above.
One example structure could be:
· A summary of the Paris Article and Paris decision text
· An outline of country and bloc positions on the issue;
· One suggestion on a way forward in negotiations, including a text suggestion. This should include a justification in relation to the existing problems and positions of parties;
· Another suggestion of a way forward, including a second text suggestion. his should include a justification in relation to the existing problems and positions of parties;
· Conclusion and reflection on the prospects of negotiations.
An applied example could be:
Define and outline the topic of carbon markets, including the relevant article in the Paris Agreement;
Outline what needs to be agreed to for carbon markets (this can be found in both the CP.21 decision and elsewhere);
Broadly outline where different countries stand;
Suggestions on a way forward for finance, including a reflection on whether it is likely to be feasible or effective;
Knowledge and understanding of topic. /10
Strength of analysis and recommendations. /20
Structure and presentation. /5
Overall mark /35