Crediting period (SSC A/R)

The definition of crediting period for small-scale afforestation and reforestation (SSC A/R) projects is set out in the CDM Glossary of Terms:

The crediting period for an A/R CDM project activity is the period for which net anthropogenic GHG removals by sinks are verified and certified by a designated operational entity for the purpose of issuance of long-term certified emission reductions (lCERs) or of temporary certified emission reductions (tCERs) (CDM Glossary of Terms, Version 03).

Therefore, the crediting period is the duration of time selected by the project participants during which the SSC A/R CDM project activity will be implemented and greenhouse gas emission reductions will be generated (and therefore long-term CERs (lCERs) or temporary CERs (tCERs) will be issued).

Selecting a crediting period

The crediting period for a CDM project activity is selected by the project participants, and may be either:

  1. A 20-year crediting period, renewable twice; or
  2. A single 30-year crediting period.

6/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 21 sets out the following:

The crediting period for a proposed small-scale afforestation or reforestation project activity under the CDM shall be either:

  1. A maximum of 20 years which may be renewed at most two times, provided that, for each renewal, a DOE determines and informs the Executive Board that the original project baseline is still valid or has been updated taking account of new data where applicable; or
  2. A maximum of 30 years (6/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 21).

Commencement of the crediting period

For non-A/R projects, the Executive Board will only issue CERs for a crediting period which commences after the date of registration of the relevant CDM project activity:

...certified emission reductions shall only be issued for a crediting period starting after the date of registration of a clean development mechanism project activity (17/CP.7, paragraph 12).

This is subject to 'prompt start' exceptions, set out in 17/CP.7, paragraph 13, which have now expired.

However, the Executive Board clarified that 17/CP.7, paragraphs 12 and 13 are not applicable to A/R project activities, and that it will issue long-term CERs (lCERs) or temporary CERs (tCERs) for a crediting period which commences prior to the date of registration of a A/R CDM project:

The Board further clarified that provisions of paragraphs 12 and 13 of decision 17/CP.7 do not apply to CDM afforestation and reforestation project activities. A CDM afforestation and reforestation project activity starting after 1 January 2000 can also be validated and registered after 31 December 2005 as long as the first verification of the project activity occurs after the date of registration of this project activity. Given that the crediting period starts at the same date as the starting date of the project activity, the projects starting 2000 onwards can accrue tCERs/lCERs as of the starting date (EB 21, paragraph 64).

Therefore, for A/R projects, the crediting period begins at the starting date of the project - that is, the date when the project becomes operational, regardless of when registration takes place:

The crediting period shall begin at the start of the small-scale afforestation or reforestation project activity under the CDM (6/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 21).

For renewable crediting periods, the starting date and length of the first crediting period has to be determined before registration:

The starting date and length of the first crediting period has to be determined before registration (CDM Glossary of Terms Version 03).

At the point of requesting registration for a proposed project activity, DOEs shall ensure that project participants state the start date of the crediting period of the proposed project activity (EB 52, Annex 59, paragraph 1).

Only one start date for the crediting period can be specified, and this date must be selected without qualifications:

  1. Project participants shall specify only one start date for the crediting period, even in cases of phased implementation.
  1. Project participants shall state in the project design document the start date of the crediting period in the format dd/mm/yyyy, no qualifications, e.g. "expected", can be made to this date (EB 52, Annex 59, paragraphs 1 and 4).

End of the crediting period

The crediting period can only continue whilst the project activity is operational:

A crediting period shall not extend beyond the operational lifetime of the A/R CDM project activity (CDM Glossary of Terms Version 03).

Requesting changes to the start date of a crediting period

A request for a change to the start date of the crediting period can only be made where the start date is after the date of registration. In other words, projects claiming retroactive credits cannot request changes in the start date of the crediting period:

Participants in projects for which the start date of the crediting period is prior to the date of registration (i.e. project claiming retroactive credits) cannot request changes in the start date of the crediting period (EB 52, Annex 59, paragraph 6).

The procedures for requesting changes to the start date subsequent to the registration of a CDM project activity are set out in EB 52, Annex 59. Requests can be made to the secretariat according to the procedure set out in EB 52, Annex 59, paragraph 7:

Participants of projects for which the start date of the crediting period is after the date of registration may:

  1. Inform the secretariat that the start date of the crediting period be moved to a date up to one year earlier than the one indicated in the PDD, provided that this date is not earlier than the date of registration of the project activity;
  2. Inform the secretariat to delay the start date of the crediting period by up to one-year;
  3. Make a request to the secretariat, via a DOE, that the start date of the crediting period be delayed by more than one year but no more than 2 years by submitting to the secretariat a confirmation from a DOE that no changes have occurred which would result in a less conservative baseline and that substantive progress mas been made by the project participants to start the project activity.(EB 52, Annex 59, paragraph 7).

EB 52, Annex 59, paragraph 8 provides that participants of projects hosted by a Least Developed Country may:

  1. Inform the secretariat to delay the start date of the crediting period by up to two years;
  2. Make a request to the secretariat, via a DOE, that the start date of the crediting period be delayed by more than two years but no more than four years, by submitting to the secretariat a confirmation from a DOE that no changes have occurred which would result in a less conservative baseline and that substantive progress has been made by the project participants to start the project activity

Requests to the secretariat to change the start date can only be made once for each registered project activity:

Project participants may only make use of provisions of paragraph 7 and 8 once for each registered project activity (EB 52, Annex 59, paragraph 10).

Renewing a crediting period

The Procedure for renewal of a crediting period of a registered CDM project activity (Version 4) was adopted at EB 43, Annex 13.  This replaces earlier guidance at EB 36, Annex 43 (Version 3), EB 33, Annex 60 (Version 2) and EB 28, Annex 40 (Version 1).

A crediting period may be renewed if a DOE determines that the original baseline is still valid or has been updated:

The crediting period for a proposed small-scale afforestation or reforestation project activity under the CDM shall be either:

  1. A maximum of 20 years which may be renewed at most two times, provided that, for each renewal, a DOE determines and informs the Executive Board that the original project baseline is still valid or has been updated taking account of new data where applicable (6/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 21(a)).

In order to apply for a renewal of the crediting period, project participants must update the PDD as follows:

Project participants shall update those sections of the project design document (CDM-PDD) relating to the baseline, estimated emission reductions and the monitoring plan using an approved baseline and monitoring methodology as follows:

  1. The latest approved version of a baseline and monitoring methodology, applied in the original CDM-PDD of the registered CDM project activity, shall be used whenever applicable;
  2. If a baseline and monitoring methodology, applied in the original CDM-PDD, was withdrawn after the registration of the CDM project activity and replaced by a consolidated methodology, the latest approved version of the respective consolidated methodology shall be used;
  3. If the registered CDM project activity does not meet the applicability criteria of the options provided for by a) or b), due to their revision or due to the update of the baseline, the project participants shall either select another applicable approved methodology or request, through the DOE, a deviation from an approved methodology for the purpose of renewal of the crediting period (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 2).

To demonstrate validity of the original baseline, an assessment of emissions that would have resulted from that scenario must be provided.

The demonstration of the validity of the original baseline or its update does not require a reassessment of the baseline scenario, but rather an assessment of the emissions which would have resulted from that scenario (EB 43, Annex 13, paragraph 3).

This updated PDD must then be forwarded to the DOE:

Project participants shall notify the secretariat, by email or through a dedicated web interface, of their intention to request a renewal of a crediting period of the registered CDM
project activity by submitting an updated CDM-PDD and informing of their selection of a DOE, within nine to six months prior to the date of expiration of the current crediting period (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 3).

A new letter of approval is not required:

For the purpose of renewal of the crediting period it is not necessary to obtain a new letter of approval from Parties involved (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 4).

The secretariat will use best efforts to remind project participants that the crediting period is due for renewal, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the project participants to ensure this is done:

The secretariat will make the best effort to inform project participants in advance of the period for requesting renewal of the crediting period in accordance with the registered
modalities of communication. It remains under the responsibility of project participants to ensure that all actions are taken in accordance with these procedures in a timely manner (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 5).

If notice to renew the crediting period is not received from project participants within 6 months of its expiry, CERs will not be issued for the period from the expiration date to the deemed renewal date:

If the notification of the intention to request a renewal of a crediting period is not received by the secretariat six months prior to the date of expiration of the current crediting period, the project participant shall not be entitled to the issuance of certified emission reductions for the period from the expiration date of the current crediting period until the date on which the crediting period is deemed renewed (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 5).

The DOE's opinion must address the validity of the original baseline, the impact of new policies and circumstances and the continued validity of the baseline:

The DOE's validation opinion shall assess the validity of the original baseline or its update through an assessment of the following issues:

  1. an impact of new relevant national and/or sectoral policies and circumstances on the baseline taking into account relevant EB guidance with regard to renewal of the crediting period at the time of requesting renewal of crediting period; and
  2. the correctness of the application of an approved baseline methodology for the determination of the continued validity of the baseline or its update, and the estimation of emission reductions for the respective applicable crediting period (EB 43, Annex 13, paragraph 7).

The request for renewal must be submitted using the F-CDM-REN form:

A DOE shall submit a request for renewal of a crediting period of a registered CDM project activity using the form "Renewal of the crediting period of a registered CDM project activity" (F-CDM-REN) along with the updated project design document and validation report (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 7).

Once the request has been submitted:

  • The secretariat will check the documentation is complete;
  • The secretariat will then make the request publicly available for a 4 week period; and
  • If there is no request for review, the crediting period will be deemed to be renewed.

This is set out in EB 36, Annex 43, paragraphs 8-10:

  1. Upon receipt of a request for renewal of a crediting period of the registered CDM project activity the secretariat will determine whether all information and documentation requested in the FCDM-REN form has been provided by the DOE.
  2. Once the secretariat has determined that the request is complete it shall be made publicly available through the UNFCCC CDM web site for a period of four (4) weeks. The secretariat shall announce a request for renewal of a crediting period of the registered CDM project activity on the UNFCCC CDM web site and notify the requesting DOE, the project participants and the Designated National Authorities.
  3. Unless there is a request for review within four weeks after the publication of the request for renewal, the crediting period of the registered CDM project activity shall be< deemed renewed (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraphs 8-10).

The procedures applying to a review of registration, as modified, apply also to a review of a request to renew a crediting period:

The procedures to be applied for review of a request for renewal of a crediting period are those contained in Annex III to Decision 4/CMP.1 and following relevant clarifications (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 11).

Note that 38/CMP.5 revoked Annex III to decision 4/CMP.1. However, the Executive Board will continue to apply Annex III until revised procedures are finalised.

The renewed crediting period starts the day after the previous crediting period ends:

The start date of the renewed crediting period is the first day after the ending date of the previous crediting period (EB 36, Annex 43, paragraph 12).

Related Topics

Starting Date (SSC A/R)

Long-term certified emission reductions (lCERs)

Temporary certified emission reductions (tCERs)

Project participants

Executive Board