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Corruption blindspots in international cooperation on climate action: Building governance and accountability to deliver Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Multilateral action on climate change depends on governments working together with respect to emissions reductions, adaptation, technology transfer and financing. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) establishes government-to-government cooperation as the primary means for climate change collaboration.

Other means of cooperation were developed through the Kyoto Protocol, under which emissions reductions from project activities undertaken in one country are credited in favour of another country or a private corporation of that other country which funded such activities.

Under the Paris Agreement, voluntary international cooperation has been included in Article 6. Enhanced international cooperation is needed in order to meet climate targets. This includes a crucial need to recognise that corruption risks exist and have transformed previous initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol into heavily criticised mechanisms with unclear outcomes in terms of emissions reductions and harmful impacts on community rights.

This policy brief provides an overview of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and identifies key issues and gaps related to corruption risks within existing UNFCCC mechanisms. It also explores areas for strengthening ongoing negotiations related to international cooperation under Article 6, including the role of an independent grievance and redress mechanism.