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Addressing the climate crisis through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

By Tom Owino, Project and Technical Director, Climate Impact Partners

The Global South is not just a spectator in the fight against climate change. It is a key player necessary for the world to achieve net zero goals through green economic growth. Kenya exemplifies the transformative power of the Global South, even as it faces severe climate impacts, such as the recent catastrophic floods that have displaced thousands of people and underlined the urgency of improving resilience and adaptation strategies.

As technical and project director for Climate Impact Partners in Kenya, I have seen first-hand the social and environmental benefits of initiatives that reduce emissions and redefine development. For example, the introduction of electric mobility and improved cooking facilities contribute to reducing the use of conventional fuels, improving air quality and public health, while solar irrigation projects ensure sustainable agricultural practices that rely less of erratic weather patterns driven by the warming of our planet.

The world must channel more funding towards projects like these that are aligned with the specific development needs of Kenya and Africa, such as clean cooking, which are still waiting for adequate funding despite being important regional priorities. Smart climate and community projects must scale in Africa, but they cannot do so without additional funding. In fact, trillions of dollars of financing – amounts that far exceed the capacity of public funds alone – are needed to keep global warming at safe levels by boosting green economic growth in Africa and across the Global South.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is a key mechanism that can close this financial gap, but it has not yet been fully operational. It was designed to allow countries to cooperate to meet more ambitious climate goals by buying and selling carbon credits. It allows countries to determine which parts of carbon markets they want to tap into to meet their nationally determined contributions or self-defined mitigation targets. These goals form the basis of each country’s plan to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

With a huge emissions gap to fill, we must give countries access to all available climate tools; Article 6 is central to this, with Article 6.2 as a practical example. This allows countries to trade emissions reductions and eliminations with each other and offers a route to channel finance that fosters low-carbon development and raises global climate ambition (for example, projects that enable access to off-grid electricity, the solar irrigation with water, electric mobility). and modern kitchen

During the last major climate conference in Dubai, COP28, we at Climate Impact Partners hoped that decision-makers would unlock the full potential of Article 6, finalizing all the guidance, ensuring full implementation and involving more countries. Some progress was made, but not enough, and it was postponed for another year to get back on track at COP29 in Baku. Meanwhile, what is in place since Glasgow allows Article 6.2 to continue trading carbon credits from one country to another. Countries have also expressed interest in creating bilateral agreements and we have seen 13 new agreements created between different countries, and the expansion of their scope with four new countries hosting climate reduction projects. These developments underline the growing willingness of recipient and purchasing countries to participate and, through their agreements, the potential impact of this mechanism. But it must scale much further and faster if we are to achieve global climate goals.

The effectiveness of Article 6 as a financial conduit from the Global North to the South depends on an increase in demand from purchasing countries. Only through increased demand can we ensure that funds are not only available, but also allocated in a way that aligns with the sustainable development goals of host countries. If buyer nations rise to the occasion, Article 6 could become a cornerstone of global climate strategy, allowing proactive nations like Kenya to unleash their climate action potential. This change is not only beneficial for both the Global South and the Global North; It is essential to achieve international climate goals and ensure a habitable planet for future generations.

Read more: UpEnergy Announces Tanzania’s First Article 6 Authorized Carbon Credits

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