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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Supervisory Body readying key procedural package to operationalise new Paris Agreement mechanism

The Supervisory Body that oversees the mechanism established under Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement concluded its sixth meeting on Thursday, July 13, 2023, having made substantial progress on the essential standards and procedures that will allow the mechanism to commence operations next year.

Simon Stiell
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change

“It’s been four very long days but we have managed to achieve a lot and I am grateful to both the Supervisory Body colleagues for their hard work and to the stakeholders and observers that have contributed to this progress,” said Olga Gassan-zade, the Chair of the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body.

Key outcomes from this meeting include the standard and procedure associated with the transition of eligible activities registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to the Article 6.4 mechanism. The Supervisory Body started accepting requests to transition CDM projects to Article 6.4 on June 30 and will be accepting such requests until the end of this year. The subsequent steps for transition, including approval by the host country, submission of transitioning project documentation, and assessment and approval of transition, are planned to be operational from the beginning of 2024.

Mbaye Diagne, Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Body, said: “This is a big step because this set of documents puts the necessary provisions in place to actually enable the transition from the CDM next year. As such, it gives project developers the confidence to go ahead and submit their requests for transition. I am glad because I think they were waiting for this work to be completed.”

The Supervisory Body also progressed in developing the Article 6.4 mechanism activity cycle procedures for projects – a key part of a package of regulatory documents to operationalise the Article 6.4 mechanism activity cycle. The development of other key documents, such as the activity standards and the validation and verification standards, is ongoing. Once they have been finalised, the Supervisory Body will bring them to the stakeholders for consultation before adoption together with the activity cycle procedures prepared at this meeting.

The Supervisory Body adopted procedures related to baseline and monitoring methodologies, methodological tools and standardised baselines. These procedures allow stakeholders to propose new methodologies, send requests for revision or clarification of existing ones, and also allow the Supervisory Body to undertake the development of new methodologies on its own initiative. The submission of proposed methodologies and standardised baseline can begin as soon as the first quarter of 2024.

This is after the Supervisory Body has finalised the work on the requirements for the development and assessment of methodologies and these are adopted by the Fifth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) in Dubai in December 2023. To advance the work on the methodological requirements, the Supervisory Body will launch a structured call for input on the draft recommendations from August 3 to 16, 2023.

In other developments, an impressive 300 inputs submitted until 30 June aided the Supervisory Body in enhancing its understanding of removal issues, including definitions, monitoring and accounting issues, and addressing reversals. The Supervisory Body announced an additional call for public input to be open for 14 days from the week of July 17, to cover further issues it needs to consider to prepare a draft of the recommendations on activities involving removals.

Moving further with operationalisation of the Article 6.4 mechanism, the Supervisory Body discussed modalities for the operation of the Article 6.4 mechanism registry. To inform the development of this work, the Body will also launch a call for public input on registry-related issues in the near future.

Beyond its purely technical work, the Supervisory Body continues to carefully consider the needs of the mechanisms’ stakeholders and has recommended the establishment of a Forum for Designated National Authorities (DNAs). The proposed DNA Forum will facilitate an exchange of views, best practices, and experiences, and facilitate peer-to-peer learning among its members within regions and beyond. It will also serve as a capacity-building hub and a crucial communications channel with the Supervisory Body.

In a further demonstration of its commitment to inclusivity, the Supervisory Body has appointed a member as an interim gender focal point to assist the Body in gender-related matters, including championing the integration of gender considerations in its work, as well as two members of the Body as interim focal points on Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples.

The Supervisory Body also agreed on a proposal on how it intends to engage with Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples.

“It is critical we engage Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples in the decision-making process from the outset,” said Gassan-zade. “I am pleased to announce we are launching a call for public inputs on how the Article 6.4 mechanism could work better with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and will separately organise a dedicated webinar to reach out to local and indigenous communities. I am looking forward to making our process even more inclusive.”

The next meeting of the Supervisory Body is scheduled to take from September 10 to 15 in Singapore.

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