Because of concerns with the growing threat of global climate change from increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, the US and other countries are implementing, by themselves or in cooperation with one or more other nations (i.e., joint implementation), climate change mitigation projects. These projects will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or sequester carbon, and will also result in non-GHG impacts (i.e., environmental, economic, and social impacts). Monitoring, evaluating, reporting, and verifying (MERV) guidelines are needed for these projects in order to accurately determine their net GHG, and other, benefits. Implementation of MERV guidelines is also intended to: (1) increase the reliability of data for estimating GHG benefits; (2) provide real- time data so that mid-course corrections can be made; (3) introduce consistency and transparency across project types and reporters; and (4) enhance the credibility of the projects with stakeholders. In this paper, the authors review the issues and methodologies involved in MERV activities. In addition, they review protocols and guidelines that have been developed for MERV of GHG emissions in the energy and non-energy sectors by governments, nongovernmental organizations, and international agencies. They comment on their relevance and completeness, and identify several topics that future protocols and guidelines need to address, such as (1) establishing a credible baseline; (2) accounting for impacts outside project boundaries through leakage; (3) net GHG reductions and other impacts; (4) precision of measurement; (5) MERV frequency; (6) persistence (sustainability) of savings, emissions reduction, and carbon sequestration; (7) reporting by multiple project participants; (8) verification of GHG reduction credits; (9) uncertainty and risk; (10) institutional capacity in conducting MERV; and (11) the cost of MERV.
"Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Policy and Program Division, Office of Economics and Environment, Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation ; Maurice LeFranc, Project Manager." "LBNL-40316."