Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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6.4. Adequacy of the IPCC Guidelines for Reporting Projects under the Kyoto Protocol

This section assesses the adequacy of the Guidelines for estimating changes in stocks associated with LULUCF projects. It briefly summarizes the kinds of changes to the Guidelines that may be needed, recognizing that there are aspects of reporting that are of a policy nature (e.g., certification) that are not addressed here.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, reporting of projects will be required. The Guidelines do not address projects, although many of the accounting methods can be applied to estimate emissions and removals of GHGs, changes in carbon stock, and associated activities. At this time, it is unclear which LULUCF activities will be included under Articles 6 and 12 and potentially under Articles 3.3 and 3.4. Clearly, however, many of the data and reporting requirements are similar to those of Articles 3.3 and 3.4 (see Section 6.3) if comprehensive accounting were applied. In addition, the following issues arise (see Section 6.2 and Chapter 5; Vine et al., 1999).

The degree of improvements to the Guidelines depends on their intended use. Within each of the options below, Parties could choose their own methods, or internationally agreed methods could be stipulated. There are three main options of increasing complexity:

Option 1. If the Guidelines are intended to show impacts to a Party's assigned amount, a summary of changes in net GHG emissions and removals from all projects may be all that is required. The first step would involve the transfer of GHG emissions and removals from the project to the national inventory; in the second step, the GHGs from projects would be subtracted from the national inventory.

Option 2. If the Guidelines are intended to enable Parties to generate a complete and transparent record of GHG emissions and removals from each project-including a breakdown of all activities, baselines, leakage, risks, and so forth (see methods in Chapter 5)-considerable changes will be required.

Option 3. Finally, there may be a need to report all changes in net GHG emissions and removals, as well as environmental and socioeconomic impacts, especially for CDM projects (Article 12).

In option 1, a reporting format for projects could be developed with the Guidelines with minimal effort. This option would require a decision to report data at an appropriate, aggregated scale. For options 2 and 3, considerable effort may be required to qualify for carbon credits. The period involved in developing these options would depend on the decisions of the Parties.

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