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COP26: Five Reasons Why Carbon Markets (Article 6) Matter

Carbon markets are high on the agenda at the UN’s COP26 climate change conference. Carbon Market Watch’s Gilles Dufrasne has prepared this handy guide to explain the issues at stake related to Article 6.

The next UN climate change conference (COP26) kicks off this weekend. One of the key items up for negotiation is the regulation of the carbon markets established under the Paris Agreement. These discussions have dragged on for over five years now, and they remain highly contentious. 

Regulation rather than creation

These negotiations are not about setting up new markets but are about regulating those already authorised under the Paris Agreement. Article 6 establishes the right of countries to exchange emission reductions on a bilateral or multilateral basis through so-called “cooperative approaches”. This means that one country would be able to count cuts achieved in another country by paying that country for them.