Exploring the Way to Harmonize Sustainable Development Assessment Methods in Article 6.2 Cooperative Approaches of the Paris Agreement
Keywords:sustainable development, article 6, Paris Agreement, cooperative approaches, harmonization
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement provides countries with two market-based approaches to meet their mitigation targets in a cost-efficient manner. Countries engaged in Article 6 need to simultaneously pursue greenhouse gas emission reduction and sustainable development (SD). To assess mitigation activities’ contribution to SD, under a newly introduced Article 6.4 mechanism, SD assessment tools are to be developed until 2023. However, for cooperative approaches based on Article 6.2, there is a lack of a specific direction to formulate a tool or a guideline for SD assessment. Furthermore, though some scholars mentioned necessity to harmonize SD assessment methods across divergent cooperative approaches, there is a lack of analysis of the SD assessment practices under cooperative approaches. This study probes what kinds of SD assessment methods are in use in the current experimental cooperative approaches and explores ways to harmonize these methods. To this end, based on previous studies, three essential elements for the design of SD assessment methods are enumerated: i) principles and parameters, ii) assessment criteria and indicators, and iii) process. This paper applies these elements to two exemplary cases, Japan’s Joint Crediting Mechanism and Switzerland’s bilateral agreement, and finds they have divergent SD assessment methods along the three dimensions of SD assessment. This paper concludes with policy suggestions to formulate a general guideline for SD assessment for cooperative approaches.
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