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Trying to Eat an Elephant (Again): Opportunities and Challenges in International Cooperative Approaches of the Paris Agreement

Rishikesh Ram Bhandary



This article discusses the key design features of the international cooperative approaches in the Paris Agreement. The primary tension that animates the design elements of Article 6 is the need to build on the diversity of national approaches to climate change policy while ensuring environmental integrity, facilitation of implementation, and contribution to overall ambition. If designed carefully, Article 6 provisions can drive cost-effective mitigation, expand the scope of regulated emissions, and breathe new life into reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, and the conservation and enhancement of carbon stock (REDD+). As countries already have some experience with the Kyoto Protocol’s market mechanisms, various voluntary carbon offset programs, and internationally supported mitigation actions, countries have an opportunity to incorporate the learning into the implementation modalities of the Paris Agreement so that the international cooperative approaches can ensure environmental integrity, increase global ambition, and serve as a driver for implementation.


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