Paris Agreement

Attributing mitigation outcomes between climate finance and international carbon markets

Nov. 6, 2019

The Paris Agreement requires developing countries, like other nations, to take wide-ranging action to mitigate climate change. In order to finance large scale mitigation action, development banks blend climate finance with resources from international carbon markets. A team of experts is developing and analysing a range of solutions on behalf of the World Bank.

International cooperation will be key for reaching the mitigation goals of the Paris Agrement. (Photo: Keystone-SDA)
International cooperation will be key for reaching the mitigation goals of the Paris Agrement. (Photo: Keystone-SDA)

Action to mitigate climate change costs money. Many developing countries and emerg­ing economies depend on international cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emis­sions effectively. The Paris Agreement essentially sets out two mechanisms to finance these measures: climate finance and international carbon markets.

Where climate finance is concerned, developed countries provide financial support to less-developed countries. The latter are then able to reduce their emissions and to set these reductions off against their own emission reduction targets (or “Nationally De­ter­mined Contribution” – NDC). Although the international carbon markets outlined in Art. 6 of the Paris Agreement also support mitigation measures in the host country, the re­duc­tions or “mitigation outcomes” that are achieved are transferred internationally via these markets, and set off only against the target (NDC) in the acquiring country.

To finance comprehensive climate protection programmes, development banks are en­deav­our­ing to blend international climate finance with carbon markets. How might the resulting reductions in emissions be shared between the two instruments? This ques­tions is at the heart of a discussion paper drawn up on behalf of the World Bank. Led by INFRAS Managing Partner Jürg Füssler, in the paper a number of climate experts analyse a range of options, and formulate potential solutions in the context of the Trans­for­ma­tive Carbon Asset Facility (TCAF).

Proportional attribution, i.e. the allocation of outcomes in proportion to the net financial contribution (or “grant value”), is the most efficient economic incentive to promote green­house gas reduction measures. This approach also ensures environmental in­tegri­ty of the international transfer. It means that the use of carbon markets does not lead to an increase in emissions globally.

One of the principal objectives of this World Bank-commissioned discussion paper is to stimulate international debate on this issue. More of INFRAS's current work on the Paris Agreement can be found here: 1) possible approaches, 2) cooperation mechanisms.

Project team

Jürg Füssler Managing Partner
Felix Weber Senior Project Manager


Blending climate finance and carbon market mechanisms





Who we work for

World Bank



Jürg Füssler Managing Partner