26 Jan 2016

Carbon Market Provisions in the Paris Agreement (Article 6)

Andrei Marcu

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The markets provisions, contained in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015, can be seen as both a major success and a minor miracle. Throughout 2015, and during COP21 itself, the prediction was for a very small reference to anything related to markets, or possibly even the total omission of any such reference in the text. As predicted, the markets/non-markets text in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (PA) was one of the last issues to be agreed, in the last night of COP21, shortly before the text went to the COP President, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, for final approval and its subsequent release to the delegates for acceptance on 12 December 2015. This paper presents the evolution of the ideas contained in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and how these were captured in textual form in different drafts of the agreement.

Understanding the origin of different provisions in the PA, and their evolution, may prove crucial. Losing the institutional memory may lead to attempts, through re-interpretation of the PA, to renegotiate it.

Andrei Marcu is Senior Advisor and Head of the Carbon Market Forum at CEPS. He negotiated Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on behalf of Panama and also serves as Advisor to governments in the UNFCCC negotiating process.