Late last night, the countries participating in the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) rejected the latest Article 6 guidance.
Negotiations spilled over late into the night during the final day of COP28 on December 12, lasting well over 12 hours.
Nations emerged from behind closed doors announcing their rejection of the latest guidance on operationalizing Articles 6.2. And 6.4, which have to do with the exchange and verification of carbon credits, respectively.
Sebastien Cross, Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of BeZero Carbon, commented on the decision:
“It’s incredibly disappointing that Articles 6.2 and 6.4 haven’t been adopted – it was crucial that negotiators used COP28 to agree a framework that could unlock carbon markets and channel capital into the areas where it could have the most environmental impact.
“Countries cannot hold out hope for the UN to deliver a clear rulebook before commencing carbon trading in earnest – and the terms of Article 6.2 agreed in previous years do enable bilateral carbon trading. As it stands, Article 6.2 is far from perfect and lacks standards to raise the quality of credits. This makes ratings even more important as a tool so 6.2 sees a race to the top for credit quality, rather than the bottom.”
Other stakeholders in the voluntary carbon market have also expressed their opinions on the news, such as Pablo Fernandez, CEO of ecosecurities, who said:
“While this is undoubtedly a setback for carbon markets, it is better than pressing on with inadequate rules and regulations surrounding Article 6. Although it will be (at least) a year until we get more certainty, we are buoyed by the incredible work done by standard setters and wider market players on the VCM at COP28.”
Amy Merrill, Interim COO, Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM), also expressed her disappointment with the decision, but said that ICVCM would nevertheless continue to work in alignment with Article 6.
“In the meantime, the Integrity Council’s work will continue to make it easier to identify high-integrity carbon credits that will help unlock private climate and carbon finance that would not otherwise be deployed. Our Core Carbon Principles (CCP) Assessment Framework provides a clear rulebook on what a high integrity carbon credit looks like,” Merrill said.