The role of forests in market-based climate change mitigation has been a contentious issue for more than a decade. While considerable progress on the technical and methodological requirements for forest protection activities was made under the heading of REDD+, the financial incentives needed to avoid emissions and foster removals in the forestry sector were subject to intense debates. More specifically, the question of whether REDD+ activities should be allowed for use in international carbon market programmes remained unanswered. The question was neither answered by the adoption of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ (WFR) nor by the integration of REDD+ into the Paris Agreement under its Article 5.
With the adoption of the Article 6 rulebook at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the debate about the role of market-based forestry activities under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement gained new momentum. The Article 6 rulebook provides guidance for the implementation of bi- or multilateral cooperation under Article 6.2 while the Rules, Modalities and Procedures (RMPs) outline the functioning of the Article 6.4 mechanism.
Against this background, a recent Carbon Mechanisms policy paper analyses the decisions on Article 6 taken by Parties at COP26 and what they might imply for implementing market-based forestry activities.