Revising and withdrawing an approved methodology
Project proponents may request revisions to existing methodologies for small-scale afforestation and reforestation (SSC A/R) project activities:
Project participants involved in small-scale afforestation and reforestation project activities under the CDM may propose changes to the simplified baseline and monitoring methodologies specified in appendix B or propose additional project types for consideration by the Executive Board (6/CMP.1, paragraph 8).
In order to request a revision of an approved methodology, project participants must use the Form for Submission on Small Scale Afforestation /Reforestation Methodologies and Procedures (F-CDM-SSC-AR-Subm), indicating that they wish to request a revision of a SSC A/R methodology.
Effect of revisions on registered project activities
Revisions of methodologies must be carried out in accordance with the modalities and procedures for establishing new methodologies. Revisions are only applicable to project activities registered subsequent to the date of revision, and so do not affect existing registered project activities:
Any amendments made to appendix B shall apply only to small-scale afforestation and reforestation project activities under the CDM which are registered subsequent to the date of amendment and shall not affect already registered small-scale afforestation and reforestation project activities under the CDM during the crediting periods for which they are registered (6/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 10).
Clarification on this decision was provided by the Executive Board in EB 54, Annex 3, paragraph 35:
35. The amendment of an A/R AM [approved baseline and monitoring methodology] or an A/R AT [approved tool] has no effect on the global stakeholder consultations of PDDs and registration of project activities applying the previous version of the amended A/R AM or A/R AT.
Where a project activity, which has been published for public comments for validation using an old methodology, is submitted for registration within 8 months of the effective date of the revision of that methodology, that project can continue to use the old methodology. The Executive Board clarified at EB 54 that a project will be considered to meet this deadline if the following conditions are satisfied:
a. The DOE has uploaded the request for registration using the dedicated interface of the UNFCCC CDM website before 24:00 GMT on the day of the deadline; [and]
b. Either the proof of payment is uploaded within 20 calendar days after the deadline or the payment is received within 40 calendar days after the deadline (EB 54, Annex 3, footnote 5).
Fulfilment of these conditions is verified by an automated process.
The current Procedure for the submission and consideration of requests for revision of approved baseline and monitoring methodologies and tools for A/R CDM Project Activities (EB 54, Annex 3) states that the previous procedure applicable (EB 35, Annex 13) was to apply mutatis mutandis to A/R projects (EB 54, Annex 3, paragraph 1, in relation to EB 35, Annex 13, paragraph 6). EB 54, Annex 3, however, does not explicitly address this.
When can revisions be carried out?
The circumstances when revisions of approved methodologies can be carried out in a general CDM context are set out in Clarifications to project participants on when to request a revision, clarification to an approved methodology or a deviation (EB 31, Annex 12; previously EB 30, Annex 1), and also in the Criteria for consolidations and revision of methodologies (EB 27 Annex 10).
A revision may be carried out when:
- new or a better understanding of scientific evidence indicate that emission reductions may be over- or under estimated based on the existing approved methodology or that the reductions may not be real, measurable and verifiable;
- the applicability conditions require broadening to include more potential project types or conditions for use;
- there are identified inconsistencies, errors and/or ambiguities in the language and/or formulae used within or between methodologies;
- there is scope for simplification and or more clarification in order to improve its user-friendliness (also to include clarifications that have been given by the Meth Panel in response to queries regarding the applicability of approved methodologies) (EB 27 Annex 10, paragraph 4).
A revision may also be carried out after a request from the COP/MOP, the Executive Board, the Meth Panel and working groups:
The revision of approved methodology may be carried out in response to requests by a project participant, relevant stakeholders, the Executive Board, the Meth Panel or Working Groups in accordance with the latest version of the procedures (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraph 5).
The revision may be carried out in response to requests recommended in the meetings by the COP/MOP, Executive Board, the Meth Panel and working groups. In addition revisions may be carried out in response to request for revisions as per the procedures for revisions (EB 27 Annex 10, paragraph 5).
It is appropriate for a project participant to request a revision when the proposed project activity is broadly similar to the project activity to which an approved methodology applies:
A request for revision is suited for situations where an approved methodology is not applicable to a project activity but the project activity is broadly similar to the project activities to which the approved methodology is applicable. Similarity is based on the nature (technology/measure) of the project activity and sources of the emissions affected by the project activity. For example, the approved methodology may not be applicable as the source of emissions affected by the project activities are the same but the technology/measure used in the project activity is not covered under the applicability conditions; or the procedures provided in the methodology for estimating emissions from sources are not applicable because of slight variations in the approach, flow of events or structure chosen in the project activity (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraph 6).
However, if no approved methodology is appropriate for revision, then methodologies may be consolidated. The full text of the decision referring to this rule is reproduced below; however, pending clarification from the UNFCCC Secretariat, it is assumed that the word 'revision' should be replaced with the word 'consolidation', as indicated:
Should no approved methodology be appropriate, then a revision [replace with 'consolidation'?] to an approved methodologies could be requested. In this case significant changes are required to the approved methodology for it to be applicable to all possible project scenarios, without which inter alia the application of the methodology to the proposed project activity would be inappropriate, resulting in an incorrect definition of the project boundary, double counting, an inaccurate account of leakage, emission reductions that are either not real, measurable, verifiable or additional to those that would occur in the absence of the project activity (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraph 7).
A new proposed methodology will be required where the request for revision limits the ability of other projects activities to use the applicability conditions of approved methodologies:
The request for revisions shall not include changes to the approved methodology that would result in the exclusion, restriction, narrowing of the applicability conditions of the approved methodologies for other project activities. Should the request result in the above the project participant is advised to submit a new proposed methodology (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraph 8).
Project participants are discouraged from requesting revisions to more than half of the sections of an approved methodology:
In this regard, if the request for revision to an approved methodology is likely to result in the addition of new procedures or scenarios to more than half of the sections of an approved methodology, it is advisable that project participants propose a new methodology as per procedures for submission and consideration of proposed new methodology accordance with the latest version of the procedures (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraph 9).
A revision of an approved methodology need not follow a request by Project Participants. The A/R WG (Working Group) may also initiate a revision:
7. The A/R WG and/or the secretariat may initiate the revision of an A/R AM or an A/R AT in order to simplify it and/or improve its objectivity, applicability, usability and consistency.
In addition, the secretariat or the EB may also request the revision of an A/R AM or an A/R AT.
These rules for requesting revisions of approved methodologies are expressed to apply mutatis mutandis to the A/R Working Group, indicating that they apply to A/R projects on terms appropriate to such projects.