Using an approved methodology
Once a methodology has been approved, it may be used by other project proponents for similar project activities. However, in developing the project design document (PDD) or conducting validation, project participants or designated operational entity (DOE) may need to submit queries relating to the application of approved methodologies to proposed new project activities.
The submission of queries is governed by Procedure for the submission and consideration of queries regarding the application of approved methodologies and methodological tools by designated operational entities to the Meth Panel (EB 42, Annex 9).
Executive Board guidance on this issue refers to "requests for clarification of approved methodologies" (as in EB 31, Annex 12) and also to "queries regarding the application of approved methodologies" (as in EB 37, Annex 5). However, the relevant paragraphs referring to clarifications footnote the Procedures document above, and therefore "requests for clarification" and "queries" should be interpreted to mean the same thing.
Purpose of a clarification/query
The purpose of a clarification/query is to enable the DOE and project participants to gain a clearer picture of the applicability of an approved methodology and/or the various procedures provided in an approved methodology:
The procedure for request for clarification is provided to enable the DOEs, and project participants via the DOE, to seek clarification on the applicability of an approved methodology, clarification on various procedures provided in an approved methodology, inter alia for identifying the baseline scenario, demonstrating additionality, estimating baseline emissions, project emissions, leakage, etc. and in clarifying monitoring data and procedures. Therefore, should a methodology be unclear or ambiguous in this regard requiring further background information as to the conditions under which it is to be applied, project participants are advised to submit a request for clarification (EB 31, Annex 12, paragraph 4).
Requests for clarifications to approved methodologies may come from project participants, relevant stakeholders or as recommended by a relevant authority:
The clarifications to approved methodologies may be carried out in response to requests by a project participant or relevant stakeholders or may be carried out in response to requests recommended by the Executive Board, Meth Panel or Working Groups in accordance with the latest version of the procedures (EB 31, Annex 12, paragraph 3).
Procedure for queries regarding the application of approved methodologies
DOEs who wish to submit queries regarding the applicability of approved methodologies or methodological tools shall complete the form "F-CDM-AM-Subm" and submit it to the secretariat (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 2).
Project participants should submit their queries through the DOE:
Project participants wishing to seek clarification on the applicability of an approved methodology or a methodological tool, may do so by submitting to the DOE the completed form "F-CDM-AM-Subm". The DOE shall assess that the project participant’s request is not submitted with the intention to revise an approved methodology to expand its applicability, and if so forward the request at the earliest possible time but no later than 5 working days, after the receipt of the request from project participant, to the secretariat, through the interface for submissions for requests for clarifications (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 3).
Requests for clarification that are properly characterised as requests to revise an approved methodology to expand its applicability must be resubmitted as a request for revision:
Should the secretariat, while preparing the draft response, assess, in consultation with the Chair of the Meth Panel and the Meth Panel member(s) as appropriate, that the request for clarification is submitted with the intention to revise an approved methodology to expand its applicability, it shall contact the DOE advising to withdraw the request for clarification and submit a request for revision (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 3).
The secretariat will then make the query publicly available via the UNFCCC website and forward it to the Meth Panel:
The secretariat shall forward the query to the Meth Panel listserv, post the query in a common extranet page for the DOEs and Meth Panel, forward it to the Board and make it publicly available through the UNFCCC CDM web site (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 4).
If a query is to be considered at a meeting of the Meth Panel, it must be available to the Meth Panel at least six weeks before the meeting:
A query regarding the application of an approved methodology shall be available to the Meth Panel at least six (6) weeks prior to its next meeting in order to be considered by the meeting. The Chair shall assess when queries are to be considered by the Meth Panel depending on the workload of the Meth Panel (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 5).
The query will be considered by one member of the Meth Panel, selected by the Chair:
The chair shall select one (1) member as a reviewer who shall be paid a fee of half-day per request. For cases that require more detailed consideration, the Chair may select an additional member who also shall be paid a half-day per request (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 6).
The secretariat will prepare a draft response to the query to assist the Meth Panel, using the form F-CDM-AM-Subm:
Draft recommendations, which shall be considered by the Meth Panel, shall be made available for the panel's consideration at least one (1) week before the next panel meeting. The secretariat shall prepare the draft responses to requests for clarifications for discussion by the panel meetings (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 10).
Once the Meth Panel has made a final recommendation, the secretariat will forward it to the DOE:
Once the Meth Panel agrees on a final recommendation, the secretariat shall forward the final response to the DOE and the Board and make it publicly available on the UNFCCC CDM web site in the corresponding section and in the history web page of the approved methodology concerned (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 11).
A response received from the Meth Panel can be taken as approved by the Executive Board:
All responses to requests for clarification recommended by the Meth Panel are considered as agreed upon by the Board, in taking note of the panel's report, unless otherwise revised by the Board at its subsequent meeting (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 9).
If, however, while preparing the draft response, the secretariat determines that the query is simple enough so as not to require consideration by the Meth Panel, it may seek approval of two members and the Chair of the Meth Panel, and if such approval is given, it may be sent directly to the DOE:
Should the secretariat, while preparing the draft response, assess that the clarification is simple enough so at to not require the Meth Panel's consideration, it shall forward the proposal to the two appointed member(s) for early consideration. If both the appointed panel members agree to the draft proposal within two days, the secretariat shall seek the approval of the Chair of the Meth Panel within one day and upon endorsement shall forward the final response to the DOE and post it on the UNFCCC CDM web page for methodology clarifications. The response shall be reflected in the report of the meeting of the Meth Panel immediately following the publication of the response. If there is no agreement or endorsement, the request will be considered at the Meth Panel meeting (EB 42, Annex 9, paragraph 7).
Version 6 of the Procedure for the submission and consideration of queries regarding the application of approved methodologies by designated operational entities to the Meth Panel, contained in EB 42, Annex 9, replaces earlier guidance in EB 37, Annex 5, EB 34 Annex 3, EB 32 Annex 15, EB 24 Annex 15 and EB 20 Annex 6.