What are ITMOs? A new mechanism to help lower global carbon emissions


The Paris Agreement signed during the COP21 entered into effect in 2020. The agreement establishes the global goal to keep our planet´s warming below 2 ° C. Among the other measures, this agreement allows for the development of cooperative approaches that involve the use of International Transfer Mitigation Outcomes (ITMO) to comply with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the countries participating in the agreement.

A new mechanism to combat climate change

ITMOs use a carbon dioxide equivalent [CO2e] metric for a new set of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation results defined in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. According to section 2 of article 6, ITMOs differ from the previous compensation schemes in a few different ways. First, they are integrated within the participating countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Second, they support the mitigation of global emissions (not only those of one territory), and lastly, the public sector has a crucial role in leading negotiations. This last point is one of the main differences between Article 6.2 of the Paris agreement and the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.

Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement determines the scope of this mechanism and establishes the general procedures to carry out the transfer of ITMOs between countries.

What does article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement establish?

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement creates provisions for voluntary international cooperation between participating countries to achieve the objectives of their NDC. Section 2 establishes that two countries can reach an agreement in which one of the parties reduces carbon emissions and transfers those reductions to the other party to be accounted for as part of their NDC objectives. Another important aspect of this article is that when an ITMO is issued and transferred to another country instead of counted as part of the host country’s NDC, a corresponding adjustment must occur.

Making a corresponding adjustment implies that the host country must ensure that it will not use the transferred credits to achieve its own emission reduction goals. This process guarantees that 1 ton of CO2 can only be accounted for once: either by the country that generates the carbon credits or by the partner country that buys them. In other words, what Peru sells to another country cannot be counted towards its own contribution goal.

A bilateral agreement between Peru and Switzerland.

At the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow this year (COP26), the mandate for implementing ITMOs among participating countries was approved. The social organization Microsol is currently working to develop an international cooperation program that generates ITMOs between Peru and Switzerland to implement improved cookstoves in rural communities in the Peruvian highlands.

This first agreement between the two countries increases the credibility of carbon credit trading schemes. Subsequently, helping develop more carbon projects and boosts demand for the corresponding credits.

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20 January 2021

We are proud to announce that our programme ¨Qori Q’oncha¨ in La Libertad, Peru, has been awarded this recognition in the mention of Peru Natural: Mitigation of climate change. The category ¨Peru & Nature¨ recognises outstanding initiatives for adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the country’s urban or rural areas. The criteria for consideration […]

Qori Qoncha improved cookstove wins award Microsol
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