Sustainable Development Initiative on the Implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC process

Assisting in implementation of sustainable development through the Paris Agreement

The Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI) explores Party and other stakeholder views on options to assist with the implementation of sustainable development provisions in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement to the UNFCCC. Based on technical work, research and analysis, the SDI regularly presents options for guidance, rules, modalities and procedures to operationalize the Article 6 sustainable development (SD) provisions.

The overall objective of the current SDI work plan is to raise awareness on the opportunities associated with strong SD provisions in Article 6 through a combination of a

  • party driven policy dialogue;
  • piloting of SD tools and approaches in real world projects, and
  • outreach and strategic partnerships for a community of practice.


Documentation of the latest SDI activities can be found here:

SDI position paper for COP26

Article: System Change. Transformative design of Article 6 programmes for net zero emissions by 2050

Views on Sustainable Development provisions in the Art. 6 ‘rulebook’ draft from COP25 in Madrid

The analysis examines the status of these options in the latest negotiation drafts. It compares the drafts of the rulebook elaborated during the meeting of SBSTA in Bonn (2019) with the last versions of the draft texts contained in the Presidential Proposals at COP25 in Madrid (2019). The aim of the analysis is to inform Article 6 negotiators and relevant stakeholders, how the high-level SD options are addressed in the current drafts.

SDI position paper ahead of COP25 in Madrid, 2019

The negotiations at COP25 aimed to conclude the rulebook on Article 6. The rulebook is an important opportunity to establish a framework for the required knowledge sharing on tools and approaches to promote SD in Article 6. Ahead of COP25 the SDI recommended the launch of a work programme to develop voluntary tools and approaches to assist with SD assessment.

The Long Road to a Common Understanding – Sustainable Development and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Aligning the Agendas: A Party-driven dialogue on Sustainable Development in the context of Article 6 PA

Text Proposals: Promoting sustainable development through article 6 of the Paris Agreement


UNEP DTU Partnership and the Gold Standard Foundation are the founding partners and operating entities of the SDI. Since its start in 2017, the SDI has been supported by Belgium, Finland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Focus area: Climate Planning and Policy, Expanding use and understanding of market instruments

Country / Region: Global

Tools and Analyses

Good Practice Guidance for the preliminary Assessment of Sustainable Development in Article 6 actions

Since 2018 the Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI) has developed good practices to create the conditions for sustainable development in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. These include the key areas that should be considered in the robust design of activities and their subsequent implementation, monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) for sustainable development.

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Policy Briefs for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Six policy briefs have been released by the Sustainable Development Initiative on the Implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC process to provide a summary of a series of six moderated roundtable discussions to analyse stakeholder views on the options to operationalise sustainable development provisions in the implementation of Article 6 within the UNFCCC process.

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Assessment of Sustainable Development Approaches for use in Article 6

This report is intended for Article 6 negotiators and experts involved in carbon markets. It aims to provide insights to assist in selecting suitable sustainable development impact assessment tools and approaches and to inform negotiations on the benefits of introducing a work programme to develop tools to measure and monitor the contributions of Article 6 activities to sustainable development.

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Webinar series

Transformative Design of Article 6 Programs for Net Zero emissions by 2050 - 15.12.2020

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Guidance for the Interim - 18.11.2020

Discussing the San José principles and bilateral agreements to promote sustainable development and integrity in carbon markets

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Mainstreaming Sustainable Development in Carbon markets - 12.11.2020

Carbon Market Virtual Pavillon 2020 - Webinar

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Progressing Sustainable Development Provisions in Article 6 of Paris Agreement - 22.09.2020

The first in a series of webinars in connection to the Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI) for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

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Get in touch

Karen Holm Olsen

Senior Researcher

Phone: +45 4533 5295
LinkedIn: Visit profile

Sven Braden, Independent consultant

Owen Hewlett, Gold Standard Foundation