November 2018 – The term 'overall mitigation in global emissions' was first introduced with the Paris Agreement. Similar concepts were previously discussed in the context of the review of the CDM and JI under the Kyoto Protocol and in the conceptualization of new market mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). However, many of the options that might have led to a net decrease in global emissions under the CDM, where host countries did not have targets under the Kyoto Protocol, no longer do so in the context of the Paris Agreement, where all countries have to communicate 'nationally determined contributions' (NDCs). This means that the findings from earlier research are not automatically valid when addressing overall mitigation.
Against this backdrop, a new study by Lambert Schneider and a team from NewClimate Institute identifies and discusses key options for operationalizing the concept of overall mitigation. The authors recommend that overall mitigation in global emissions be seen to be delivered when a portion of the emission reductions resulting from an activity credited under the Article 6.4 mechanism is not used by any country to implement or achieve its NDC. Based on this definition, the report identifies criteria that need to be fulfilled for overall mitigation to be achieved. The criteria are then used to assess the various options for operationalizing overall mitigation which are currently being discussed under the UNFCCC.