Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

Other reports in this collection Article 3.7: Adjusting the 1990 Baseline

The second sentence of Article 3.7 of the Kyoto Protocol states:

Those Parties included in Annex B for whom land-use change and forestry constituted a net source of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 shall include in their 1990 emissions base year or period the aggregate anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by sources minus removals by sinks in 1990 from land-use change for the purposes of calculating their assigned amount.

Article 3.3 specifies that carbon emissions and removals from ARD must be counted during the commitment period but are not included in the general baseline. Article 3.3 creates the following two "anomalies":

Article 3.7 rectifies these anomalies for some countries by including emissions and removals from "land-use change" in the 1990 base year. The first part of the second sentence in Article 3.7 ("Those parties.emissions in 1990") determines to which countries the rest of the sentence ("shall include. assigned amount") applies. Land-use change and forestry (which is assumed here to be identical to LULUCF) was a net source in 1990 for all of these countries.

The second part of the second sentence of Article 3.7 ("shall include.assigned amount") states that CO2-equivalent emissions by sources and removals by sinks in 1990 that result from "land-use change" shall be included in the 1990 base year. Parties may wish to clarify the nature of the linkage between Articles 3.3 and 3.7, particularly the scope and meaning of the term "land-use change" in Article 3.7. Options include applying "land-use change" narrowly to conversions between forest and non-forest (depending on whatever definition of "forest" the COP may adopt) or applying "land-use change" more broadly to conversions between, for example, the 15 categories listed in Table 2-1.

If ARD activities are defined as "land-use changes" (the IPCC, Flexible, Biome, and Land Use definitional scenarios), the first option (applying "land-use change" narrowly) counts carbon emissions and removals in 1990 from pre-1990 ARD activities in the 1990 base year, thereby rectifying the two anomalies. Equivalence between ARD in Article 3.3 and "land-use change" in Article 3.7 would be achieved under this option (see the right column in Table 3-5). Hence, for some countries a net-net approach for ARD is applied according to Article 3.7: All ARD activities would be considered in the commitment period and in the 1990 emissions base year. If ARD activities are not considered to be limited to "land-use changes" (the FAO, Land Cover, and Aggradation/Degradation definitional scenarios), equivalence between ARD in Article 3.3 and "land-use change" in Article 3.7 is not possible.

The option of applying "land-use change" broadly would include ARD and land-use conversions other than ARD under the term "land-use change." For countries with a net source from land-use change and forestry in 1990, this approach opens the possibility of using a net-net approach in the first commitment period for activities in Article 3.4, provided these activities are defined as "land-use changes."

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