Corresponding Adjustments and their Impact on NDCs and Additionality

Published on Ecosystems Marketplace, this opinion piece by BVRio Director, Pedro Moura Costa, aims to illustrate the impacts of corresponding adjustments on voluntary carbon markets, a useful analysis to inform policymakers and market players as to when to require the use of adjustments.

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Enthusiasm for international carbon trading must be tempered by the need to use ‘corresponding adjustment’ to avoid double counting of emission reductions and ensure ‘overall mitigation in global emissions’ – a central objective of the Paris Agreement. 

Corresponding adjustments, however, can have a negative impact on host countries’ ability to reach their NDCs. By exporting their mitigation outcomes, host countries may be left with expensive mitigation options, hindering their ability to reach their NDCs. 

Voluntary carbon markets, on the other hand, do not need corresponding adjustments as their mitigation outcomes are not reflected in any official accounts of the UNFCCC. Voluntary transactions without corresponding adjustments, instead, can assist countries in meeting their NDC targets and result in emission reductions that either contribute to, or that are additional to the targets of the Paris Agreement, a truly positive outcome.