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Additionality revisited: guarding the integrity of market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement


Michaelowa, Axel; Hermwille, Lukas; Obergassel, Wolfgang; Butzengeiger, Sonja (2019). Additionality revisited: guarding the integrity of market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement. Climate Policy, 19(10):1211-1224.

Abstract

The Paris Agreement requires mitigation contributions from all Parties. Therefore, the determination of additionality of activities under the market mechanisms of its Article 6 will need to be revisited. This paper provides recommendations on how to operationalize additionality under Article 6. We first review generic definitions of additionality and current approaches for testing of additionality before discussing under which conditions additionality testing of specific activities or policies is still necessary under the new context of the Paris Agreement, that is, in order to prevent increases of global emissions. We argue that the possibility of ‘hot air’ generation under nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) requires an independent check of the NDC’s ambition. If the NDC of the transferring country does contain ‘hot air’, or if the transferred emission reductions are not covered by the NDC, a dedicated additionality test should be required. While additionality tests of projects and programmes could continue to be done through investment analysis, for policy instruments new approaches are required. They should be differentiated according to type of policy instrument. For regulation, we suggest calculating the resulting pay-back period for technology users. If the regulation generates investments exceeding a payback period threshold, it could be deemed additional. Similarly, carbon pricing policies that generate a carbon price exceeding a threshold could qualify; for trading schemes an absence of over-allocation needs to be shown. The threshold should be differentiated according to country categories and rise over time.

Abstract

The Paris Agreement requires mitigation contributions from all Parties. Therefore, the determination of additionality of activities under the market mechanisms of its Article 6 will need to be revisited. This paper provides recommendations on how to operationalize additionality under Article 6. We first review generic definitions of additionality and current approaches for testing of additionality before discussing under which conditions additionality testing of specific activities or policies is still necessary under the new context of the Paris Agreement, that is, in order to prevent increases of global emissions. We argue that the possibility of ‘hot air’ generation under nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) requires an independent check of the NDC’s ambition. If the NDC of the transferring country does contain ‘hot air’, or if the transferred emission reductions are not covered by the NDC, a dedicated additionality test should be required. While additionality tests of projects and programmes could continue to be done through investment analysis, for policy instruments new approaches are required. They should be differentiated according to type of policy instrument. For regulation, we suggest calculating the resulting pay-back period for technology users. If the regulation generates investments exceeding a payback period threshold, it could be deemed additional. Similarly, carbon pricing policies that generate a carbon price exceeding a threshold could qualify; for trading schemes an absence of over-allocation needs to be shown. The threshold should be differentiated according to country categories and rise over time.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Atmospheric Science, General Environmental Science UNFCCC, Paris Agreement, market-based mechanisms, carbon markets, additionality, environmental integrity
Language:English
Date:26 November 2019
Deposited On:14 Oct 2019 15:01
Last Modified:18 Oct 2019 15:27
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1469-3062
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2019.1628695

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