Article 6 of the Paris Agreement introduces provisions for using international market mechanisms to fulfil nationally determined contributions (NDCs). International rules governing these approaches are currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The diversity of (intended) nationally determined contributions (I)NDCs poses considerable challenges for robust accounting of international transfers under Article 6. This discussion paper evaluates the 163 (I)NDCs that have been submitted as of 12 October 2016 with regard to features that are critical for robust accounting of international transfers. This includes the type of targets; the reference year or period as well as target year or period; the sectoral and geographical scope of the target; the covered greenhouse gases; the conditionality of the target; the methodologies used for estimating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; the values used for global warming potentials; and the intended use of market mechanisms.

The paper summarizes how many (I)NDCs representing what share of global GHG emissions have common features. Economy-wide absolute emission targets greatly facilitate robust accounting of international transfers. The authors find that currently 18 (I)NDCs, covering about 41% of global GHG emissions, have such targets.

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