Tackling The Climate Crisis Through Article 6 Of The Paris Agreement

Tackling The Climate Crisis Through Article 6 Of The Paris Agreement - Carbon Herald
Photo: Climate Impact Partners

By Tom Owino, Projects and Technical Director, Climate Impact Partners

The Global South is not just a bystander in the fight against climate change. It is a key player needed for the world to achieve net zero targets through green economic growth. Kenya exemplifies the transformative power of the Global South, even as it is contending with severe climate impacts such as the recent catastrophic flooding that has displaced thousands and underscored the urgency of enhanced resilience and adaptation strategies. 

As a Projects and Technical Director for Climate Impact Partners in Kenya, I’ve seen firsthand the societal and environmental benefits of initiatives that reduce emissions and redefine development. For instance, the introduction of electric mobility and improved cooking facilities contributes to a reduction in conventional fuel use, enhancing air quality and public health, while solar irrigation projects ensure sustainable agricultural practices that are less dependent on erratic weather patterns driven by our warming planet. 

The world must channel more finance into projects like these that are aligned with Kenya’s and Africa’s specific development needs, like clean cooking, which are still waiting on adequate funding despite being important regional priorities. Climate and community smart projects must scale in Africa but cannot do so without additional finance. In fact, trillions of dollars of finance – amounts well beyond the capacity of public funds alone – are needed to keep global warming to safe levels by driving green economic growth in Africa and across the Global South. 

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is a key mechanism that can bridge this finance gap but has yet to be fully operationalized. It was designed to allow countries to cooperate to meet more ambitious climate targets through the purchase and sale of carbon credits. It allows countries to determine which parts of the carbon markets they want to tap into to meet their nationally determined contributions, or self-defined mitigation goals. These goals form the basis of each country’s plan to meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives. 

With a vast emissions gap to plug, we must give countries access to all available climate tools– Article 6 being critical to this with Article 6.2 as a working example. This enables countries to trade emissions reductions and removals with each other and offers a pathway for channeling finance that fosters low-carbon development and elevates global climate ambition – for example, projects that enable off-grid electricity access, solar water irrigation, e-mobility and modern cooking

During the last major climate conference in Dubai, COP28, we at Climate Impact Partners hoped that decisionmakers would unlock the full potential of Article 6, finalizing all guidance, ensuring full implementation and engaging more countries. Some progress was made, but not enough, kicking the can a year down the road to pick back up at COP29 in Baku. In the interim, what is in place from Glasgow does enable Article 6.2 to continue country to country trading of carbon credits. Countries did also express their interest in creating bilateral agreements and we have seen 13 new agreements created between different countries, and the expansion of its reach with four new countries hosting climate reduction projects. These developments underscore the growing willingness of host and buyer countries to engage and, through their agreements, the potential impact of this mechanism. But it must quickly scale much further and quicker if we are to achieve global climate goals.

The efficacy of Article 6 as a financial conduit from the Global North to South hinges on an increase in demand from buyer countries. Only through enhanced demand can we ensure that not only are funds available, but they are also allocated in ways that align with the sustainable development goals of the host countries. If buyer nations rise to this occasion, Article 6 could indeed become a cornerstone of global climate strategy, enabling proactive nations like Kenya to unlock their climate action potential. This shift is not merely beneficial for both the Global South and Global North; it is essential for achieving international climate targets and securing a livable planet for future generations.

Read more: UpEnergy Announces Tanzania’s First Article 6 Authorized Carbon Credits

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