Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

Other reports in this collection

5.3.4. Project Duration How Long Do Projects Have To Be Run?

The Kyoto Protocol requires that LULUCF projects result in long-term changes in terrestrial carbon storage and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The definition of "long-term" varies substantially, however, and there is no consensus regarding a minimum time frame for project duration.

During the AIJ Pilot Phase, projects have been conducted for a variety of time frames: from 20 years [e.g., the PAP in Costa Rica (Trines, 1998a)] to 99 years [e.g., the FACE Foundation projects (Verweij and Emmer, 1998)]. Most projects state that their GHG benefits are expected to be maintained beyond the project time frame [see the list of AIJ projects on the UNFCCC Web site (UNFCCC, 1999b)], although their contractual arrangements are finite. This lack of definition has caused uncertainty to all parties involved-from regulatory bodies to project developers and investors.

There is a need, therefore, to agree on what time frame should be used as the basis for quantification of GHG benefits of a project. Different time frames or approaches have been proposed to define the duration of projects:

Adoption of a standard definition of the minimum required time frame for project duration would greatly facilitate consistency in accounting for the GHG benefits of different projects. It would also reduce the uncertainty of all parties involved in project development (project developers, investors, certifiers, regulatory bodies, and the general public).

Other reports in this collection