Keywords: greenhouse gas emissions, Kyoto Protocol, benchmarks, baselines, environmental integrity, baseline uncertainty
Benchmark selection impact and uncertainty in emission reductions for selected case study projects
The efficiency of Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can be seriously harmed as investors and hosts of JI/CDM investments are trying to maximise emission reduction credits. The easiest way to invoke gaming in emission reductions is the selection of an overestimated baseline and credit 'non-real' emission reductions. The baseline which is inherently a counterfactual situation that will never be realised incorporates uncertainty in emission reductions. In order to explore the environmental integrity and the uncertainty associated with the baseline choice, this paper applies a computerised tool to construct, store and compare different types of baselines and benchmarks for projects in Indonesia and the Russian Federation. It analyses the effects of the selection of different benchmarks for the preservation of the effectiveness of the two Kyoto mechanisms and on the range of baseline uncertainty that is calculated for each case study project.