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Comparison Table 4: Additionality Requirements and Project Methodologies

(last updated Jan 2011)

Read about Additionality Requirements and Project Methodologies

Name of Program

Additionality and Related Requirements

Quantification(Baseline/Monitoring) Protocols

Kyoto offset mechanisms

Clean Development Mechanism

Project specific CDM additionality tool
• Step 1:  Identification of alternatives to the project activity consistent with mandatory laws and regulations
• Step 2: Investment analysis or
• Step 3: Barrier analysis,
• Step 4: Common practice analysis, Steps 1, 4 and either 2 or 3 are must be fulfilled

Baselines defined by methodologies (proposed by project proponents, reviewed by Methodology Panel), many using standardized equations, some based on project-specific parameters.
No standardized protocol for monitoring. Monitoring is done in accordance with the process laid out in the registered Project Design Document (PDD).

Joint Implementation

Either the same as CDM requirements, or can be demonstrated by:

  • Using an approved CDM baseline and methodology
  • Applying the CDM additionality tool
  • Providing information on a previously ‘successfully determined’ comparable project that has already been implemented

CDM principles and process for quantification applies

Mandatory cap-and-trade systems

Australian Carbon Pollution Abatement Scheme

Under development

Under development

Canada’s Offset System for Greenhouse Gases

  • Regulatory surplus test
  • Reductions/removals must exceed baseline scenario

Standardized approach, all projects must be quantified using protocols that are pre-approved by Environment Canada.

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme

CDM and JI requirements apply

CDM and JI requirements apply

Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord

Recommended requirements:

  • Regulatory surplus test
  • Reductions/removals must exceed baseline scenario

Standards-based quantification protocols recommended

New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme

Performance standard approach, based on positive technology list and established baseline scenarios

Standardized approach:

  • Explicit rules and instructions for baseline quantification provided in GHG Benchmark Rules for each type of project activity.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

• Regulatory surplus test
• No credits for electric generation unless legal rights to renewable energy credits are transferred to RGGI
• No funding from any system or customer benefit fund
• No credits or allowances awarded under any other mandatory or voluntary GHG program. 

Standardized approach: Baseline and monitoring protocols are outlined in detail for each eligible offset project type in the RGGI Model Rule.

Western Climate Initiative

Under development

Under development

Other mandatory GHG systems

Alberta-Based GHG Reduction Program

• Regulatory surplus test
• Real (specific and identifiable actions that reduce or remove GHGs)
• Demonstrable (demonstrate a net reduction in GHGs)
• Quantifiable

Quantification protocols are developed by Alberta Environment or proposed by project developers and reviewed and approved by Alberta Environment

State power plant rules

• Regulatory surplus test              
• Offsets must be “real” 

Regulation provides guidance for required documentation for quantification. 

• Offsets must be “real” 

No specific requirements

• Regulatory surplus test               
• Offsets must be “real” 

Regulation provides guidance for required documentation for quantification

British Columbia Emission Offset Regulation

  • Baseline scenario must include consideration of regulatory requirements and incentives
  • Financial barriers analysis

Quantification protocols from recognized protocols may be proposed. BC-specific protocols are expected to be developed.

Voluntary standards (read about standards versus programs)

WBCSD/WRIGHG Protocol for Project Accounting 

Project-based and performance standard approaches guidelines provided. No requirements

Generic guidelines for project-specific and performance standard baseline quantification and monitoring protocols. No requirements.

ISO 14064-2

Project-based and performance standard approaches guidelines provided. No requirements

General guidance offered for baseline quantification and monitoring protocols. No requirements.

Voluntary programs

American Carbon Registry

Either performance-based and regulatory additionality test or project-based test:

  • exceed regulatory / legal requirements;
  • go beyond common practice;
  • overcome 1 of 3 barriers: institutional, financial or technical.

CDM, EPA Climate Leaders, and VCS protocols approved.

ACRs own protocols include: a forest carbon project standard and project-specific protocols for landfill methane, livestock waste management (biodigester) and industrial gas substitution. Several others sector standards and protocols in various stages of development.

New protocols are reviewed on a project by project basis.

Carbon Fix    

Chicago Climate Exchange

• Regulatory surplus test
• Defined as new project
• Common Practice test 

Standardized approach: CCX-developed pre-defined baselines and methodologies for each specific project type

Climate Action Reserve

• Performance standard approach where possible
• Regulatory surplus test

Performance standards used where possible and general project-specific monitoring protocols developed

Climate Community and Biodiversity Standards

Project-based, specified by individual methodologies.

  • Regulatory surplus test
  • Barriers test

Relies on methods and tools developed by other organizations and standards for their baseline calculations. Projects must use 'IPCC's 2006 Guidelines for National GHG Inventories for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (IPCC 2006 GL for AFOLU) or a more robust and detailed methodology’  ie updated from IPCC GPG.

Climate Leaders 

  • Regulatory surplus test
  • Performance standard approach

Standardized approach: Baseline and monitoring protocols are outlined in detail for each eligible offset project type.

Gold Standard

• CDM additionality tool (latest version) and
• Previous announcement checks 

GS CERs: all methodologies approved by CDM EB         
GS VERs: all methodologies approved by CDM EB, Small Scale Working Group (SSCWG),United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Millennium Development Goals (MDG)Carbon Facility                                        
New methodologies must be approved by GS Technical Advisory Committee.

Green-e Climate Program

Requirements of each approved standard apply

Requirements of each approved standard apply

Green-e Climate Protocol for Renewable Energy 

• Regulatory, legal, institutional surplus test and;
• Timing test (project start date)
• Technology test and performance test

Standardized methodologies

Panda Standard    

Plan Vivo

Project-based:

  • Barriers test

Baselines are calculated at the project level and also modeled at the regional scale.
Methodologies for the carbon potential of each land use system are commissioned by the Plan Vivo Foundation.

Social Carbon Methodology

No definition of additionality criteria: relies on the outside standard to do so

Relies on methods and tools developed by outside standards.

VER+

Project based:

  • follow specific additionality rules of an approved CDM methodology or
  • in all other cases, apply the most recent version of the CDM Additionality Tool.

All CDM-approved baselines and methodologies are allowed. The latest versions of the CDM methodologies must be used.
New methodologies are reviewed on a project by project basis. Project methodologies must be based on “guidance on criteria for baseline setting and monitoring” as defined for JI activities.

Verified Carbon Standard

• Regulatory surplus test            
• Implementation barriers test       
• Common practice test   
Performance-based and positive technology list-based approaches will be eligible in the future. No performance tests or technologies have yet been approved by VCS. 

All CDM methodologies approved. New project-specific quantification protocols must be independently approved by two different auditors.