The Paris Agreement’s Article 6 and the WTO: Points of Convergence
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement establishes three forms of voluntary cooperation between countries in pursuit of their nationally determined contributions to fighting climate change, with the aim of allowing higher ambition in their mitigation and adaptation options, and by which countries might promote sustainable development and ensure environmental integrity.
Two of these forms of cooperation are market-based. Article 6.2 allows for parties to use internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) to meet their mitigation commitments. Any exchanges occurring under this provision would take place under bilateral governance (that is, under the terms of an agreement between the country of sale and the country of purchase), but in accordance with guidance to avoid double counting — which was agreed upon by the parties to the Paris Agreement. Activities under article 6.4 exchanges, by contrast, would probably look more like what took place under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), taking place within a system of rules and institutions established by the parties.