November 2020 - The adoption of the Paris Agreement strengthened the link between climate change mitigation and sustainable development - the requirements of the agreement go far beyond those of the Kyoto Protocol. However, measuring the sustainable development contributions of climate change mitigation measures has already proven to be complex in the past. Demonstrating the extent to which a project has supported sustainable development in the host country has been challenging. A recent report published by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) shows how the assessment of sustainability contributions can be effectively implemented in the context of climate change mitigation mechanisms such as those under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
In the first part of the report, the authors analyse how the role of sustainable development can be strengthened in the further design of the mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. To this end, the study reflects on the experience gained from the CDM and traces the debate on new market mechanisms for the period after 2020. It also takes into account the experience gained with multilateral instruments and institutions outside the UNFCCC regarding sustainable development. The authors then show how sustainable development can be strengthened and better integrated into the rules and regulations of Article 6.
The second part of the report examines how the assessment of contributions to sustainable development can be effectively implemented. For this purpose, approaches used in existing programs are analysed and evaluated in order to finally determine the most appropriate approach for the evaluation of contributions to sustainable development and the use of indicators. The authors identify pragmatic approaches that reduce the complexity of sustainability assessments while maintaining the reliability of each assessment. In this context, the report discusses, among other things, the possible degree of flexibility in MRV approaches and the advantages of using internationally recognized benchmarks and accessible data sources. The authors also make recommendations for the optimization of existing indicators and discuss different approaches for dealing with possible negative impacts.