As I have been looking for information about the current status of the negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement in the ongoing UNFCCC climate change meeting in Madrid, Spain, a colleague pointed me to the blog of RINGO (Research and Independent NGOs), ringosnet.wordpress.com. It has a link to a very useful paper by Axel Michaelowa, Aglaja Espelage & Benito Müller of the European Capacity Building Initiative on the Article 6 negotiations leading up to this climate change meeting and the significance of Article 6 (https://ecbi.org/sites/default/files/Article%206%202019.pdf).
Article 6 deals with ITMOs, i.e. Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes, which is the “treaty-speak” for international market mechanisms, i.e. primarily emission trading. These mechanisms were more explicitly set out in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol (Joint Implementation mechanisms, Clean Development Mechanism, Emission Trading, and the so-called EU-Bubble). [Now that I read the terms and my description of them being “explicit,” I realize that they are no less obscure than ITMOs. At least when terms like Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanisms were introduced with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, they had not independent meaning. Score one for obscure (international treaty) legalese making it impossible for non-lawyers to understand the important concepts.] Since the Kyoto Protocol (KP) commitments have expired, among the key questions for the Paris Agreement is how these activities under the KP will carry over into the Paris Agreement (especially the valuable credits that companies and countries have created or otherwise acquired under the KP). So far, however, it’s been quite difficult to get a good read on what has been going on in the Madrid negotiations. But with the meeting end in sight in just a couple of days, the world will know a lot more soon.