5.3. Issues Arising from the Implementation of Projects
5.3.1. Project Boundary
Adequate determination of the physical and conceptual project boundaries is
one of the critical steps in project design and implementation. The choice of
accounting boundary influences the carbon credit that can be assigned to a project.
It can also raise carbon accounting problems, particularly with regard to the
relationship between project and national accounting.
Estimates of project impacts on carbon stocks may be limited at one extreme
to aboveground vegetation within the geographical area of the project. At the
other extreme, "total carbon" accounting may be used to include not only below-ground
vegetation and soils on the project site but also the effects of wood products,
fossil fuel substitution, and other changes at the national or even the international
level. Because of these accounting problems, assessments of project impact should
provide explicit details about the spatial, temporal, and conceptual boundaries
used. Examples of carbon stocks and emission sources that may not always be
captured within project boundaries include the following:
- Emissions associated with preparation of land prior to the official start
of a project
- Emissions or removals of GHGs associated with the use of harvested timber
- Emissions associated with project development (car and air transport, machinery
- Fossil fuel emissions avoided through the use of biomass fuels as substitutes
for energy production.
Decisions will have to be made about the level of standardization required
for boundary-setting in projects. The cost implications of extending project
boundaries to include many secondary effects could be significant.