In December 2015, an agreement was adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris that replaces the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and provides new foundations for international climate policy from 2021 onward.
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement states that emission reductions may be traded among states and that buyer states may thereby outperform their national emission target or offset emissions that exceed their emission target. The conditions are (i) that the environmental integrity of emission reductions be guaranteed, (ii) that the transfer be correctly accounted for, so as to avoid any double counting, and (iii) that the transaction contribute to sustainable development. The concrete rules are to be established by the parties to the agreement by the end of 2018.
Switzerland has announced its intention to make extensive use of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Over the years 2021 to 2030, an average 10% of Swiss greenhouse gas emissions are to be offset abroad. Details will be specified by the Swiss CO₂ Law, which is currently undergoing parliamentary consultation.
The current agreement between the Swiss
Confederation and the Foundation states that a sum of 20 million Swiss Francs is
to be used toward funding pilot activities serving to concretise and implement
the possibilities provided under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Such
activities are to be consistent with Switzerland’s stance in international
climate negotiations. Decisions on pilot activities will be made in
consultation with the Interdepartmental Climate Committee (Interdepartementaler
Ausschuss Klima, IDA Klima) of the Swiss Confederation.
At the turn of the year 2016/17, the Climate Cent Foundation issued a call for tenders to source possible pilot activities. 17 PINs were submitted. Following their appraisal, 4 activities are currently being pursued.
Switzerland is currently developing pilot
activities with Colombia, Mexico
(capture and energetic use of landfill gas), Peru (efficient cook stoves) and
Thailand (fleet electric vehicles). Current work includes the development of a
bilateral agreement that would cover aspects such as corresponding adjustments
to ensure that there is no double counting as well as respective
responsibilities of involved public and private stakeholders.