Climate clubs embedded in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Michele Stua, Colin Nolden, Michael Coulon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Recent times have witnessed an increasing number of countries and private firms pledging carbon neutrality by mid-century. Whilst representing a significant improvement in intentions to tackle climate change, such pledges lack substance and structure. For instance, individual pledges lack coordination and aggregation among peers, while strategies and measures to achieve ambitious targets are largely absent. Moreover, current disagreements obstructing progress in international climate change negotiations further undermine the reliability of carbon neutrality objectives. Effective international policies are needed to foster aggregate mitigation ambitions and the
creation of adequate supporting mechanisms. This theoretical paper describes a governance innovation aimed at overcoming such shortfalls and disagreements through a unifying yet customizable pathway towards carbon neutrality. It does so by first outlining a political governance framework based on a climate club interpretation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Secondly, it proposes carbon emission mitigation effort sharing on a per capita basis to ensure efficiency, equity and political feasibility. Thirdly, this paper describes how the supply of certified mitigations of carbon emissions required to satisfy effort sharing-based demand can be assetized as carbon credits by operationalizing Article 6 as a joint certification mechanism. The resulting governance architecture for managing demand and supply of mitigations shifts efforts to tackle climate change from a ‘problem-driven’ cost approach to ‘opportunity-driven’ value creation pathways towards carbon neutrality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106178
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The second author gratefully acknowledges the receipt of grant funding from the centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, UK Research and Innovation , Grant agreement number EP/R035288/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Environmental Law and Sustainability


  • Climate clubs
  • Article 6 Paris Agreement
  • Effort sharing
  • Joint mechanism


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