COP27 Benefits for Benin and Beyond
By Mr. Koto Daniel Dagnon, CVF Youth Fellow
“Together For Implementation” was the theme of this year’s COP27 in Egypt.
Also widely known as the Implementation COP, this conference should therefore galvanize the international community to massively move to action, honoring the many commitments discussed, including those related to the carbon market.
As the youngest delegate, at 22, of the official delegation of Benin (and at COP26 in 2021), I had the privilege to take part in the formal and informal negotiation sessions on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
The rulebook of this article – the subject of much disagreement since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 – was finalized at COP26.
COP27, then, was about meaningful exchange around the necessary measures for its effective implementation by the member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – including Benin.
The strategy of low carbon and climate change resilient development of Benin (2016 – 2025) stipulates that “Benin is by 2025, a country whose development is resilient to climate change and low carbon intensity”.
To achieve this vision, market approaches (carbon credit) and non-market approaches such as mitigation, adaptation, climate finance, technology transfer and capacity-building, are pivotal.
The results of COP27 in this sense can be broken down into:
- The issues related to cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6, paragraph 2
- The guidelines on the mechanism established by paragraph 4 of this article
- The work programme in the framework of non-market approaches referred to in paragraph 8
Following COP26 where the law on Article 6 was adopted, COP27 was able to reach the decrees of application of this law – and Benin, like the other states, can now make these different mechanisms operational.
This is a great satisfaction because, under the leadership of the President of the Republic, Mr. Patrice Talon, Benin now has the necessary prerequisites on the institutional and legal level to participate in the carbon market.
Moreover, by Decree n° 2022 – 274 of May 4th 2022, the Beninese Council for Sustainable Development has been established. One of its key roles is to organize and manage the monetization of carbon credits and to serve as a catalyst for the regulation of the carbon market.
It is nevertheless important to underline that further support is needed.
Despite the potential and the efforts made by Benin and other African countries, it is necessary to have support in terms of capacity-building and technical assistance to guide these countries (which are mostly the most vulnerable to climate change). Help to move to the effective implementation of the different mechanisms, and thus be able to feed back afterwards, is crucial.
This feedback will serve to update these mechanisms, document progress and replicate successes. This need is evident in the decisions in paragraphs 12 (Article 6.4), and 21 (Article 6.8) which invite the UNFCCC Secretariat to set up training and capacity-building programs.
It will also be crucial to take into account geographical and gender balance, and to promote effective collaboration with experts from developing countries – especially the least developed and small island (paragraph 12, Article 6.2) nations.
Overall, African negotiators are reasonably satisfied with the results of the Article 6 negotiations. It is important to note that some points of disagreement (regarding double counting, the transition of certain Kyoto Protocol mechanisms related to Article 6 to the level of the paragraphs of this article, and national and international registries) have been resolved.
One of the most important dates to remember at COP 27 was November 12, 2022. On that day, the Governments of Ghana and Switzerland formally authorized UNDP to transfer mitigation results under the climate-smart rice project.
This is historic, as it is the first authorization under Article 6.2 – and a great example to follow and encourage.
Finally, it is now up to each party to implement the various mechanisms according to its realities and challenges. With the support of the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (especially in terms of capacity-building) each country can begin to significantly contribute to staying below 1.5°C.