November 2020 – As part of the Global Carbon Market project, a webinar on the topic of “Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: Challenges and Opportunities for Africa” was held in in June in collaboration with the Francophone Cluster of the Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement (PATPA). The event, which was attended by more than 120 participants, underscored the importance of developing a strategic vision on market mechanisms now even though negotiations on Article 6 are still ongoing.
In her introductory statement, Afef Jaafar, representing the Tunisian National Energy Agency, encouraged participants to take anticipatory steps in order to fully exploit the potential of Article 6 for a transition to low-carbon economies in Africa. While African participation in the CDM has been very limited, the presentation from Axel Michaelowa (Perspectives Climate Group) showed that the continent is well represented in the current Article 6 piloting initiatives. This can be seen as an opportunity as African countries can learn from those initiatives and do not have to start from scratch.
In his presentation, El Hadji Mbaye Diagne, Lead Negotiator of the African Group of Negotiators, presented the African priorities in the Article 6 negotiations. These include ensuring environmental integrity and transparency on Article 6.2 and 6.4, as well as striking a balance between the two. In addition, the African Group of Negotiators together with other developing countries advocates adequate and predictable adaptation finance. Another priority is ensuring corresponding adjustments are implemented to avoid double counting of emission reductions. Finally, the African Group of Negotiators supports the transition of CDM activities on the basis of a thorough assessment and only if it is ensured that the overall ambition of the Paris Agreement is maintained.
While highlighting the numerous opportunities for fostering sustainable development through Article 6, the event also addressed the challenges Article 6 presents to African participation in respective activities. El Hadji Mbaye Diagne cited building national capacities and infrastructure among the challenges faced. Ousmane Fall Sarr from the West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance pointed to key challenges for the work of the Alliance, in particular the huge demand for capacity building activities and the lack of financial resources. Towards the end of the event, Afef Jaafar shared Tunisia’s experiences with Article 6 piloting and carbon pricing. The country plans to implement carbon pricing instruments in three priority sectors (energy, cement and electricity). Revenues from the new carbon tax and also from future Article 6 activities could flow into the Energy Transition Fund, which in turn could support more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.