2.3.2. Protocol-Specific Accounting Framework
This section describes alternative structures for the accounting of GHG emissions
by sources and removals by sinks from LULUCF activities. Policy questions that
the Parties may wish to address in defining the accounting system are introduced,
and illustrative accounting rules for LULUCF activities under the Protocol are
presented and compared. Subsequent sections elaborate on options for addressing
the key accounting questions.
Any accounting system for LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol must address
three fundamental questions:
- To what activities does Kyoto accounting apply?
- Will accounting be based on land units or activities?
- What carbon related to these activities will be counted?
126.96.36.199. Activities to Which the Accounting System
The Kyoto Protocol identifies the following categories of possible activities:
- Afforestation, reforestation, and deforestation (ARD) occurring since 1
January 1990 (Article 3.3, Decision 9/CP.4)
- Additional agricultural soil and LULUCF activities (Article 3.4)
- Projects aimed at reducing GHG emissions from sources and enhancing GHG
removals by sinks (Article 6 and potentially Article 12).
188.8.131.52. Land-Based versus Activity-Based Accounting
A carbon accounting system developed for the Kyoto Protocol must adhere to
the basic scientific principles of carbon processes and the institutional terms
and objectives of the UNFCCC. Two accounting approaches are discussed here that
may meet these requirements. The Parties could decide to adopt either one of
these approaches, or some combination of the two.
The first approach to accounting is land-based. Its starting point is the total
carbon stock change in applicable carbon pools on land units subject to Kyoto
activities. Implementing this rule involves first identifying land units on
which applicable activities occur. Next, the total change in carbon stocks on
these land units during the commitment period is determined. Adjustments can
then be made to reflect decisions that the Parties may adopt regarding baselines,
leakage, and timing issues, as discussed in the following sections. Aggregate
emissions or removals are the sum of stock changes (net of adjustments) over
all applicable land units.
The second approach is activity-based. Its starting point is the carbon stock
change attributable to designated LULUCF activities. First, each applicable
activity's impact on carbon stocks is determined per unit area. This impact
is multiplied by the area on which each activity occurs. This equation may also
include adjustments to reflect policy decisions by the Parties. Aggregate emissions
or removals are calculated by summing across applicable activities. Potentially,
a given area of land could be counted more than once if it is subject to multiple
activities. This potential double-counting could result in inaccurate accounting
if the effects of activities are not additive. Alternatively, the Parties could
decide that each land unit could contain no more than one activity. In this
case, the combined impact of multiple practices applied in the same area would
be considered a single activity.