Operationalizing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Article 6 of the Paris Agreement enables countries to engage in voluntary cooperation through market and non-market approaches. In theory, it provides the accounting and compliance framework for transfers of mitigation efforts between states, offering a way to operationalize economic ideas about more efficient emissions mitigation. Parties to the Paris Agreement have voiced very different views about the objectives, governance, and operational implementation of Article 6, however, rendering it the last provision to be finalized in Paris in 2015, and the last item of the “Paris Rulebook” to secure adoption in Glasgow in 2021. After a brief overview of Article 6, its features and its anticipated benefits, this chapter traces the negotiating history of Article 6 to highlight the persistent fault lines that have prevented its full operationalization until today. It also takes stock of emerging state practice under Article 6 with a variety of bilateral and regional pilot activities, and concludes with observations on how states can advance implementation of a treaty provision even in the absence of agreed decisions on the operational details, thereby effectively shaping the future legal framework through their actions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Climate Law and Governance
Subtitle of host publicationCourage, Contributions and Compliance
EditorsMarie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Christina Voigt
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Paris Agreement
  • emissions mitigation
  • climate policy
  • international cooperation


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