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Spatial & Multisectoral Impacts of Paris Agreement Article 6 under Different Equity-driven Emissions Mitigation Pathways
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  • Mel George,
  • Sha Yu,
  • Leon Clarke,
  • James Edmonds
Mel George
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,University of Maryland, College Park

Corresponding Author:georgemv@umd.edu

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Sha Yu
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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Leon Clarke
University of Maryland College Park
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James Edmonds
Pacific Northwest National Lab
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Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on greenhouse gases enables countries to cooperate in implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) towards emission reduction. Current national policies may fail to deliver on the “well below 2℃” climate goal & international cooperation through carbon markets under Article 6 is expected to enhance flexibility in mitigation options, make it cost-effective and enhance mitigation ambition overall. As countries prepare for the Glasgow Conference of Parties (COP26), the rules for such mechanisms are expected to be finalized. We analyze three questions: What is the aggregate & spatial distribution of economic efficiency gains & financial flows between Global North & South with Article 6? What is the impact of limits on inclusion of nature-based solutions? What are the multisectoral dynamic effects on technology deployment & capital investment in the Global South? We use the GCAM (Global Change Analysis Model) integrated assessment model & an 8-scenario matrix with two emission trajectories achieving carbon neutrality based on equity principles. In each case, we measure the geographic distribution of economic gains till 2050 between a pathway where countries move independently or participate cooperatively in a global carbon market. We analyze the spatial and multisectoral impacts on electricity asset stranding & investments in different mitigation options, including CCS (carbon capture & sequestration), electric vehicles, energy efficiency & renewable energy technologies. Employing limits on land area engaged for mitigation from fossil fuel sources, we showcase the sensitivity of these results to nature-based solutions. We find that in contrast to the popular notion that the Global South will inevitably gain through such global carbon market transfers, the story is more intricate. There is also a noticeable impact of limiting nature-based solutions for countries in Latin America & Sub-Saharan Africa. Further we show differences in deployment of low-emissions technologies in the near term. This has implications for technological growth & incentives for mitigation. This study provides insights for design of future global markets or regional carbon clubs & shows equity tradeoffs in achieving economic efficiency in climate change mitigation.