High-Ambition Countries Re-Float Pre-COP Article 6 Principles

Steve Zwick

With negotiations around the creation of carbon markets deadlocked, leading high-ambition countries are attempting to garner support for a list of principles around which to develop markets.

11 December 2019 | MADRID | With climate negotiators still deadlocked over how to incorporate carbon markets into the Paris Agreement, negotiators from several countries and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), known as the “Unconventional Group,” are attempting to build support for a set of principles that had emerged at the pre-COP in Costa Rica.

Below, without comment, are the principles, currently dubbed th “San Jose Principles for High Ambition and Integrity in International Carbon Markets.” For details on the current state of talks, see:

Climate Talks Remain Stuck on Markets

Technical Phase of Climate Negotiations Ends With No Agreement on Markets

The San Jose Principles

The “San Jose Principles for High Ambition and Integrity in International Carbon Markets” have gone through several iterations. Here is the most current:

  • Ensures environmental integrity and enables the highest possible mitigation ambition,
  • Delivers an overall mitigation in global emissions, moving beyond zero-sum offsetting approaches to help accelerate the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,
  • Prohibits the use of pre-2020 units, Kyoto units and allowances, and any underlying reductions toward Paris Agreement and other international goals,
  • Ensures that double counting is avoided and that all use of markets toward international climate goals is subject to corresponding adjustments,
  • Avoids locking in levels of emissions, technologies or carbon-intensive practices incompatible with the achievement of the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal,
  • Applies allocation methodologies and baseline methodologies that support domestic NDC achievement and contribute to achievement of the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal,
  • Uses CO2-equivalence in reporting and accounting for emissions and removals, fully applying the principles of transparency, accuracy, consistency, comparability and completeness,
  • Uses centrally and publicly accessible infrastructure and systems to collect, track, and share the information necessary for robust and transparent accounting,
  • Ensures incentives to progression and supports all Parties in moving toward economy-wide emission targets,
  • Contributes to quantifiable and predictable financial resources to be used by developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation,
  • Recognizes the importance of capacity building to enable the widest possible participation by Parties under Article 6
Steve Zwick is a freelance writer and produces the Bionic Planet podcast. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Ecosystem Marketplace, and prior to that he covered European business for Time Magazine and Fortune Magazine and produced the award-winning program Money Talks on Deutsche Welle Radio in Bonn, Germany.

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