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Lessons from Virtual Pilots: Raising Climate Ambition through ITMOS

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement facilitates use of cooperative approaches in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A step up from project-based CDM or even programmes of activities, this new and flexible mechanism has the potential to harness market forces to foster emissions reductions at a sector-wide scale. The hope is that cooperative approaches will lower the costs of compliance and enable greater overall climate ambition.

Through cooperative approaches, it is envisioned that two or more countries will work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a mutually beneficial manner, supporting both countries towards meeting their climate goals as documented in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and as applicable, their long-term strategies. Ideally, cooperation will help drive even higher levels of ambition than what is reported in NDCs.

Cooperative approaches are subject to accounting practices aimed at ensuring the resulting internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) will be additional to business-as-usual levels of climate mitigation and will not be counted towards more than one NDC. ITMOs generated under Article 6.4 also need to demonstrate overall mitigation of global emissions and contribute to the Adaptation Fund. However, while it is anticipated that cooperative approaches will be