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This year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, is set to be largely focused on one contentious article of the Paris Agreement: Article 6. This article deals largely with regulations on carbon markets, and it is the last piece of the Agreement pending international consensus on how it should be enforced. Critics are quick to say that the outcomes of these negotiations could have enormous impacts on the amount of emissions reduced during this decade, making it a deciding factor for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But first, let’s back up: Are carbon markets really such an answer to our climate woes? Who do they benefit, and who do they hurt? What actually is in Article 6, and what are the best and worst possible outcomes from the COP?
In this GLF Live, we heard from Paul Burgers, a longtime agroforestry researcher and project implementer who is currently working in the thick of carbon market certification for local communities in Indonesia. Through a short Q&A, he’ll help answer the foundational questions and give first-hand experience about what’s needed from the COP’s negotiations to make carbon markets the path to climate change mitigation we need them to be.
Paul Burgers has been working in the forestry sector for almost 30 years. He is currently the owner of a Dutch social enterprise helping local communities in Indonesia become certified for carbon credits. Previously, he has served as a project lead for an initiative that examined the indirect effects of oil palm production in Sumatra, Indonesia and researched Indigenous agroforestry practices and small-scale dairy farming in Indonesia and Zimbabwe respectively. He holds a PhD from the University of Utrecht.