Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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4.6. How to Include Activities under Article 3.4: Modalities, Rules, and Guidelines

Article 3.4 calls for a decision not only on which additional activities will be added to the accounting of national commitments under the Protocol but also on how they will be added. This section discusses technical issues that relate to selected questions about how activities might be treated if they are added under Article 3.4. What modalities, rules, and guidelines (MRGs) might be considered to preserve the spirit, intent, and consistency of the Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)?

The text of Article 3.4 provides two requirements: Activities should be "human-induced," and they should be "related to changes in greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks in the agricultural soils and land-use change and forestry categories.." (Figure 4-1). Section discusses the concept of "human-induced" (and whether it differs substantially from "direct human-induced" as in Article 3.3). Articles 5.1 and 5.2 of the Protocol refer specifically to the IPCC Guidelines for estimating and reporting GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks (see Chapter 6). Article 3.4 also requires that uncertainty, transparency in reporting, and verifiability be taken into account.
The remainder of the Kyoto text includes at least four MRGs that are imposed on some other activities. Although there is no explicit linkage between these portions of the Kyoto Protocol and Article 3.4, they suggest the kinds of MRGs that might be considered for Article 3.4 activities:

Other potential MRGs have been discussed, and many more could be suggested. Three that have generated particular discussion follow:

The following sections briefly discuss these seven potential MRGs and the implications of their application to Article 3.4. Clearly, many different combinations or scenarios could be chosen. Moreover, we consider the possibility that MRGs might be different for the first commitment period (for which commitments have already been agreed) than for the subsequent commitment period (for which commitments have yet to be agreed). The appropriate set of MRGs may depend on whether the term "activity" is defined broadly or narrowly. We recognize that there is a linkage between the opportunities available for meeting commitments under the Protocol, the MRGs for calculating credits, and the expectations that the Parties had for these credits when they negotiated their commitments.

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