What is a methodology?

There are two types of methodologies in the CDM context – baseline methodologies and monitoring methodologies.

Baseline methodologies are defined in the CDM Glossary of Terms as follows:

A methodology is an application of an approach as defined in paragraph 48 of the CDM modalities and procedures, to an individual project activity, reflecting aspects such as sector and region (Glossary of CDM Terms, Version 03).

In essence, a baseline methodology is the means to estimate the emissions that would have been created in the most plausible alternative scenario to the implementation of the project activity (called the baseline scenario).

Monitoring methodologies are defined in the CDM Glossary of Terms as follows:

A monitoring methodology refers to the method used by project participants for the collection and archiving of all relevant data necessary for the implementation of the monitoring plan (Glossary of CDM Terms, Version 03).

Therefore, a monitoring methodology is the means to calculate the actual emission reductions from the project, taking into account any emissions from sources within the project boundary. A monitoring methodology sets out how project proponents should develop and implement a monitoring plan for a particular project type, in order to gather the data required to calculate emission reductions from the project.

Fourteen simplified baseline and monitoring methodologies have been developed for the eligible small-scale project types in order to reduce project costs (4CMP.1, Annex II paragraph 9).  These methodologies are available on the UNFCCC website.

Project proponents should select and apply the methodology from this set that is appropriate to the proposed project activity or, if none are appropriate, propose alternative baseline and monitoring methodologies for the project to the executive board:

Simplified baseline and monitoring methodologies have been developed for 14 small-scale CDM project activity categories relating to types (i) to (iii). They are presented in appendix B (4/CMP.1, Annex II paragraph 10).

Project participants should use the monitoring methodology applicable to the project category into which their project activity falls:

Project participants may use the simplified baseline and monitoring methodologies specified in appendix B for their project category (4/CMP.1, Annex II, paragraph 14).

If no category is appropriate, a new methodology may be proposed:

This list shall not preclude other types of small-scale CDM project activities. If a proposed small-scale CDM project activity does not fall into any of the categories in appendix B, the project participants may submit a request to the Executive Board for approval of a simplified baseline and/or monitoring plan developed bearing in mind provisions in paragraph 16 below (4/CMP.1, Annex II paragraph 10).

Project proponents should refer to the General Guidelines to SSC CDM Methodologies when considering the methodology of a particular small-scale CDM project. This chapter explains the process for the development, submission, approval and revision of a new methodology.

Further revisions to the General Guidelines to SSC CDM Methodologies were made at EB 76, Annex 11. The revision clarifies the requirements for using consistent approaches and data sources when estimating baseline and project emissions.

Related topics

What is a baseline? (SSC)

Establishing a baseline (SSC)

What is monitoring? (SSC)

Monitoring plan (SSC)

What is the CDM-SSC-PDD?

What is a methodology? (P)

What is a methodology? (A/R)

What is a methodology? (SSC A/R)

What is a methodology? (PoA)