The Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Verification of Climate Change Projects

  • Edward Vine
  • Jayant Sathaye


Because of concerns with the growing threat of global climate change from increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, the United States and other countries are implementing, by themselves or in cooperation with one or more other nations, climate change projects. These projects will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or sequester carbon, and will also result in non-GHG benefits (i.e., environmental, economic, and social benefits). Monitoring, evaluating, reporting, and verifying (MERV) guidelines are needed for these projects 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, we review the issues involved in MERV activities. We 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 benefits; (4) precision of measurement; (5) MERV frequency and the persistence (sustainability) of savings, emissions reduction, and carbon sequestration; (6) reporting by multiple project participants; (7) verification of GHG reduction credits; (8) uncertainty and risk; (9) institutional capacity in conducting MERV; and (10) the cost of MERV.

carbon offsets emission trading energy efficiency evaluation forestry global climate change greenhouse gas emissions joint implementation monitoring reporting verification 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrasko, K.: 1997, Forest Management for Greenhouse Gas Benefits: Resolving Monitoring Issues Across Project and National Boundaries, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2(2- 3), 117–132.Google Scholar
  2. Andrasko, K., Carter, L. and Van der Gaast, W.: 1996, Technical Issues in JI/AIJ Projects: A Survey and Potential Responses, a background paper prepared for the Critical Issues Working Group, for the UNEP AIJ Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  3. Dudek, D. and Weiner, J.: 1996, Joint Implementation, Transaction Costs, and Climate Change. OCDE/GD(96)173. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  4. EcoSecurities, Ltd.: 1997, SGS Forestry Carbon Offset Verification Services. Draft. SGS Forestry, Oxford, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  5. Embree, C. (Sid): 1994, Monitoring, Accounting, Verifying, and Reporting on Joint Implementation Activities: Preliminary Issues and Considerations, presented at the Workshop on Designing Joint Project Mechanisms to Promote Benefits for Developing Countries, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec. 13- 15.Google Scholar
  6. Heister, J.: 1996, Towards a Methodology for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Offsets from Joint Implementation Projects and Activities Implemented Jointly, draft working paper, Global Climate Change Unit, Global Environment Division, World Bank, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  7. International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 1995, Greenhouse Gas Inventory Workbook and Reporting Instructions. IPCC, Bracknell, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  8. MacDicken, K.: 1997, Project Specific Monitoring and Verification: State of the Art and Challenges, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2(2- 3), 191–202.Google Scholar
  9. MacDicken, K.: 1996, A Guide to Monitoring Carbon Sequestration in Forestry and Agroforestry Projects. Working Paper 96/04 (revised 9/96). Forest Carbon Monitoring Program, Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development, Arlington, Virginia.Google Scholar
  10. Meier, A. and Solomon, B.: 1995, The EPA's Protocols for Verifying Savings from Utility Energy-Conservation Programs, Energy: The International Journal 20(2), 105–115.Google Scholar
  11. UNEP/WMO Information Unit on Climate Change: 1992, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. UNEP/WMO Information Unit on Climate Change, Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  12. UNFCCC: 1997, Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, FCCC/CP/1997/L.7/Add.1, Dec. 10, 1997.Google Scholar
  13. UNFCCC: 1998, Non-paper on Principles, Modalities, Rules and Guidelines for an International Emissions Trading Regime, FCCC/SB/1998/MISC.1/Add.1/Rev.1.Google Scholar
  14. U.S. Agency for International Development (AID): 1996, Strategies for Financing Energy Efficiency. Business Focus Series. U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  15. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 1995a, Acid Rain CEMS Program Submission Instructions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 1995b, Conservation and Verification Protocols, Version 2.0. EPA 430/B-95-012. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 1996, The User's Guide to the Conservation and Verification Protocols, Version 2.0. EPA 430/B-96-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  18. U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation (USIJI): 1996, Guidelines for a USIJI Project Proposal. U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  19. Vine, E. and Sathaye, J.: 1997, The Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Verification of Climate Change Mitigation Projects: Discussion of Issues and Methodologies and Review of Existing Protocols and Guidelines. LBNL-40316. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  20. Watt, E., Sathaye, J., de Buen, O., Masera, O., Gelil, I., Ravindranath, N., Zhou, D., Li, J. and Intaraprvich, D.: 1995, The Institutional Needs of Joint Implementation Projects. LBL-36453. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  21. World Bank: 1994a, Greenhouse Gas Abatement Investment Project Monitoring & Evaluation Guidelines. World Bank, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  22. World Bank: 1994b, Incorporating Social Assessment and Participation Into Biodiversity Conservation Projects. World Bank, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Vine
    • 1
  • Jayant Sathaye
    • 1
  1. 1.Energy Analysis DepartmentEnvironmental Energy Technologies Division Ernestt Orland Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations