Currently, Annex I Parties report their national inventories annually. Much of the discussion below is also relevant to the accounting for national inventories. The frequency and period of reporting for projects has not been defined under the Protocol. For projects, the frequency of reporting could be linked to:
For practical purposes, Chapter 5 assumes that the reporting period equals the project lifetime. For example, if it takes 20 years to complete a reforestation project, net carbon sequestered from the project could continue to be monitored for 20 years for crediting emissions reductions. Furthermore, if annual inventories are required for assessing compliance for a commitment period, there may be a problem if project information is not available until some time after the end of a commitment period. This problem applies equally to emissions reductions for projects in other sectors. Hence, two reporting issues arise: How is the endpoint of a project defined? What is an appropriate monitoring frequency? These reporting issues are also related to the question of permanence.
Depending on the decisions made by Parties, improvements to the Guidelines likely will be needed to estimate and report emissions and removals of GHGs, stock changes, and associated activities under Articles 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 6, and 12. This section proposes options to improve the Guidelines in relation to the verifiability and transparency of reported data.
For reporting of changes in carbon stocks and GHG fluxes under the Protocol, the comprehensive approach of the Reference Manual covers most of the relevant issues, including definitions. The accounting methods and default data in the Workbook, however, are limited to two carbon pools; the Workbook and the Reporting Instructions are likely to need further work if more explicit methods and definitions are required under the Protocol. The generic areas for possible improvement include the following:
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