Paragraph 5

Emission reductions resulting from each project activity shall be certified by operational entities to be designated by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol, on the basis of:

Prior to issuance of CERs, emission reductions from CDM project activities must be verified and certified by a designated operational entity (DOE). DOEs are accredited by the Executive Board and designated by the COP/MOP to perform the functions of validation of projects and verification and certification of emission reductions from registered projects on the basis of project documentation (including the project design document (PDD)).

Certification is the formal, written confirmation by the DOE that the project activity has achieved the emission reductions set out in the verification report. The certification report, which is submitted by the DOE to the Executive Board, constitutes a request for issuance of CERs to the project participants.

(a) Voluntary participation approved by each Party involved;

Voluntary participation is one of the core requirements of CDM project activities. The voluntary participation of the each Party involved must be confirmed in the letters of approval, which are provided to the designated operational entity (DOE) for validation and subsequently forwarded to the Executive Board as part of the request for registration.

The letter of approval from each Party involved is issued by the designated national authority (DNA) of that Party. The DNA is the body granted responsibility by a Party to authorise and approve participation in CDM projects. The CDM rules provide only limited guidance on the role of the DNA or the requirements for establishing a DNA. These issues are instead left to the host Party and Annex I Party to determine. However, establishment of a DNA in some form is a requirement for participation in the CDM.

(b) Real, measurable, and long-term benefits related to the mitigation of climate change; and

The DOE engaged to verify and certify the emission reductions from the registered project must ensure that those emission reductions are real, measurable and long-term.

In verifying that emission reductions are real, the DOE must conduct an ex post examination of the monitoring report to ensure that emission reductions have taken place and are attributable to the project activity.

Emission reductions must be measurable in the sense that they are calculated using approved baseline and monitoring methodologies, or new methodologies developed in accordance with the rules for submitting new methodologies and subsequently recommended for approval by the Meth Panel or A/R Working Group and approved by the Executive Board.

Finally, the requirement that emission reductions be long-term is particularly relevant for afforestation and reforestation, where the permanence of emission removals by forest sinks must be confirmed to ensure that climate benefits will not be reversed.

(c) Reductions in emissions that are additional to any that would occur in the absence of the certified project activity.

Emission reductions from CDM project activities are required to be 'additional' - that is, the greenhouse gas emissions after implementation of a CDM project activity must be lower than those that would have occurred in the most plausible alternative scenario to the implementation of the CDM project activity (that is, the baseline scenario).

If the same level of emission reductions would have occurred even without implementation of the project, then the project will not be considered additional, and therefore will not be eligible for registration.

Additionality can be demonstrated using the tool for demonstration of additionality (additionality tool), or the combined tool for baseline selection and demonstration of additionality (combined tool). These tools involve an analysis of barriers facing the implementation of projects to show that if not for the revenue from the sale of CERs, a project activity would not be implemented. It must also be shown that implementation of the project was not required under any mandatory law or policy that is widely enforced.

Projects can have a single 10-year crediting period or a 7-year crediting period, renewable twice.  The crediting period is selected by the project participants and can only continue whilst the project is operational.

For projects with renewable 7-year crediting periods, it must be shown at the conclusion of each crediting period that the project is still additional. The baseline must also be updated to reflect the new scenario which is the most plausible alternative to implementation of the project activity.

Related Topics

Verification (P)

Certification (P)

Verification report (P)

Certification report (P)

Designated operational entity

Executive Board

Voluntary participation

Designated national authority

Additionality (P)

Emission reductions


Additionality tool (P)

Crediting period