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April 2005

Bioenergy projects for climate change mitigation: eligibility, additionality and baselines

by Ingmar Jürgens
Gustavo Best
and Leslie Lipper
Environment and Natural Resources Service
FAO Research, Extension and Training Division

This paper was presented at the 2nd World Conference on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection, 10-14 May 2004, Rome, Italy

As of today, only few baseline and monitoring methodologies for bioenergy activities have been registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and only one has been approved so far. The Bio Carbon Fund (BCF) is expected to become operational in March 2004, while other comparable international financing schemes for climate change mitigation projects, such as CERUPT – a Clean Development Mechanism project run by Senter International, the Prototype Carbon Fund of the World Bank (PCF) or the Global Environment Facility (GEF), have mostly focused on industrial processes and their potential for carbon emission reductions through increased energy efficiency and fuel switching. Due to the higher complexity of bioenergy systems, with responsibilities involving a number of different actors and sectors (agriculture, forestry, spatial planning, energy, environment), respective baseline and monitoring methodologies are not readily available, and their development and deployment could entail significant transaction costs.

FAO and other organizations are trying to support developing countries and potential project participants in identifying and formulating projects covering the whole range of bioenergy activities. In this paper, first results of efforts on project identification, baseline and monitoring methodologies and eligibility in the area of flexible financial mechanisms (including CDM) and bioenergy will be analysed with regard to the following topics:

  • Different mechanisms – different criteria for eligibility: additionality, differences in relevance for bioenergy and developing countries
  • Baseline and monitoring methodologies and the potential role of Life Cycle Analysis
  • Key aspects of project feasibility in the context of sustainable development

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