Can we agree on article 6 at COP25?
At last year’s conference in Paris, nations agreed on a set of rules for tracking and reporting greenhouse-gas emissions and for reviewing collective progress. However, they failed to establish clear rules around carbon markets through which emissions made in one country can be offset by investing in low-carbon technologies elsewhere. Although it is unclear whether negotiators will be able to reach agreement this time around, Article 6 of the Paris agreement — which aims to promote voluntary international cooperation between nations — is a central point on the agenda, and offsetting will almost certainly be discussed. Voluntary offsetting schemes are already in use to make certain goods and services, such as passenger flights, ‘carbon neutral’. Many countries, including New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom, rely to some extent on offsetting to achieve their emission-reduction goals. Critics say that offsetting schemes allow rich countries to dodge responsibility for cutting their own emissions.