Deviations from the CDM-SSC-PDD

A project is required to comply with the representations and procedures outlined in its registered PDD. If the DOE has concerns about the conformity of the project with its registered PDD, project participants must address these concerns by providing additional information where necessary:

In accordance with the provisions on confidentiality in paragraph 27 (h) above, the designated operational entity contracted by the project participants to perform the verification shall make the monitoring report publicly available, and shall:

  1. Identify and inform the project participants of any concerns relating to the conformity of the actual project activity and its operation with the registered project design document. Project participants shall address the concerns and supply relevant additional information (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 62(g)).

This decision applies equally to small-scale projects:

The CDM modalities and procedures shall apply to small-scale CDM project activities except for its paragraphs 37 to 60.  The following paragraphs 12 to 39 apply instead (4/CMP.1, Annex II, paragraph 11).

Requests for deviation from relevant provisions of registered project documentation including the PDD may occur at the verification or certification stage of a project. Such request must be made prior to the conclusion of the verification or certification for the corresponding monitoring period and before submitting the request for issuance:

If the DOE identifies that the implementation or operation of CDM project activity does not conform with the description contained in the registered PDD, the DOE shall conduct an assessment on the potential impacts due to these changes following the relevant guidelines established by the Executive Board and based on this assessment, the DOE shall submit a notification or a request for approval of changes from the project activity as described in the registered PDD prior to the conclusion of the verification/certification for the corresponding monitoring period (EB 51, Annex 3, paragraph 193).

When to request a deviation from project documentation

Version 2 of the Clarification for Project Participants on when to Request a Revision, Clarification to an Approved Methodology or Deviation gives guidance on when and how a request for a deviation from the registered PDD and associated documentation should be made.

A request for deviation is required where a DOE determines during validation or verification that a project has or will deviate from the provisions of  the project documentation:

A request for deviation may be made in advance of requesting registration or issuance of CERs when a DOE considers, during validation or verification, that the participant has or intends to deviate from the provisions of an approved methodology or registered project documentation. The request shall be made in accordance with the latest version of the procedures (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraph 10).

A distinction is drawn between requests for deviations in advance of requests for registration and requests for deviation at the stage of issuance:

A requests of for deviations [sic] made in advance of requesting registration, refers to deviations from an approved methodology applicable to the proposed project activity, while requests at the stage of issuance refers to a deviation from the monitoring plan of a registered CDM project activity (EB 31, Annex 12, paragraph 11).

Deviation is appropriate where there is a change in the conditions, circumstances or nature of a proposed project activity, which is not significant enough to require a revision of the methodology:

  1. A request for deviation is suitable for situations where a change in the procedures for the estimation of emissions or monitoring procedures is required due to a change in the conditions, circumstances or nature of a registered project activity. The deviation shall be project specific and shall not deviate from the methodology, such that a revision would be required.
  2. A request for deviation is not suited for cases where (i) the monitoring plan is not in accordance with the monitoring methodology applied to the registered project activity, (ii) when the approved methodology is no longer applicable to the project activity, (iii) it results in revisions as referred to in paragraph 6, (iv) or for example it results in a change in default parameter values other than those mentioned in the approved methodology (EB 31 Annex 12, paragraphs 12 and 13).

Procedure for requesting a deviation from an approved methodology

The procedures for requesting deviation from an approved methodology are found in the guidance documents Procedures for requests to the Executive Board for deviation from an approved methodology (EB 49, Annex 4) and Procedures for requests for deviation prior to submitting request for issuance (EB 49, Annex 26).

A deviation is requested using one of the following forms, depending on the stage at which the request is being made:

Submission of a request for deviation from methodology

A deviation from an approved methodology may be requested before registration of the project activity:

If a DOE finds at validation that project participants deviated from an approved methodology when applying it to a proposed project activity and the DOE considers that the deviation was due to a project specific issue implying a revision of the methodology would not be required to address the issue, it may seek guidance on the acceptability of the deviation from the Executive Board prior to requesting registration of the proposed project activity. Alternatively, if the DOE considers that a revision of the methodology would be required to address the project situation the procedures provided for revision of approved methodology shall be used (EB 49, Annex 4, para 4).

If the DOE seeks guidance, a Form for submission of requests for deviation from methodology (F-CDM-DEV-METH) must be submitted, providing an assessment of the case, demonstrating that the deviation does not imply a revision of an approved methodology, and describing the impact of the deviation on emission reductions from the project (EB 49, Annex 4, para 5).

Within 20 working days of receipt of the form, the Secretariat will check if the form has been completed by the DOE and whether the documentation is complete. Once the submission is found to be complete, it will be made publicly available (EB 49, Annex 4, para 6).

Submission of a request for deviation prior to submitting request for issuance

A request for deviation may be made prior to submitting a request for issuance:

If a DOE determines at verification that project participants deviated from the provisions of the registered monitoring plan it shall not conclude the certification of the emission reductions for the verified period, and inform the Board accordingly, or seek guidance from the Board on the acceptability of the deviation prior to concluding on its verification/certification decision (EB 49, Annex 26, para 5).

If the DOE seeks guidance, a Form for submission of requests for deviation prior to submitting request for issuance must be submitted. The submission must include a clear assessment and describe the impact of the deviation on emission reductions from the project activity (EB 49, Annex 26, para 6).

Within 20 working days of receipt of the submission, the Secretariat will check if the form has been completed by the DOE, that relevant technical information is included, and whether the proposed request is in fact a request for revision of monitoring plan or a request regarding changes in the PDD (EB 49, Annex 26, para 7).

Once the submission is found to be complete and to meet the deviation criteria, it will be made publicly available. After publication of the request, the Secretariat will prepare a summary note with its recommendation to forward to the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the relevant panel or working group, within ten days (EB 49, Annex 26, para 10)

Consideration of a request for deviation

For requests for deviation from methodology at validation, the request will be considered by the Secretariat in consultation with the Chair or Vice Chair of the methodology panel / working groups:

If the secretariat, in consultation with the Chair/Vice Chair of the Methodology Panel/Working Groups, assesses that the request for deviation does not meet the required criteria, based on the provided information, it shall respond to DOE in one of following ways: (i) to consider submitting the request as a request for revision of an approved methodology; (ii) the request cannot be considered as an eligible request for deviation from a methodology (EB 49, Annex 4, para 8).

The Secretariat may request appointment of one member of the panel / working group in preparation of a draft response, which is provided within five working days of receipt of the case (EB 49, Annex 4, paras 9-10).

Within five working days, the Chair or Vice-Chair of the panel / working groups will endorse the draft response, which is then forwarded to the Executive Board Chair (EB 49, Annex 4, para 10).

The Chair or Vice Chair of the panel / working group may decide the case requires consideration by the whole panel / working group, and the case will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting. The panel / working group will make its recommendation to the Executive Board (EB 49, Annex 4, para 11).

The Executive Board Chair will give a final decision to accept or reject within five working days of receipt of the Secretariat's recommendation. If no decision is provided within this time, the Secretariat's recommendation is deemed to be accepted (EB 49, Annex 4, paras 12-13).

The Executive Board Chair may decide to discuss the case at an Executive Board meeting, in which case the Executive Board meeting will make the decision (EB 49, Annex 4, para 14).

The Chair's decision is then communicated to all Board members, who may within ten working days put forward reasons for further consideration by the Board of the case at a subsequent meeting if they disagree with the Chair's decision (EB 49, Annex 4, para 15).

Information regarding the decision shall be communicated to the DOE and made publicly available:

This decision will be communicated by the secretariat to project participants. The decision of the Chair and the Executive Board shall be made publicly available on the UNFCCC CDM website. If the Executive Board issues general guidelines, it shall be made publicly available in the UNFCCC CDM web site and through the CDM news facility.

Requests for deviation prior to submission of a request for issuance:

If the Secretariat finds that the request requires further consideration by the relevant panel or working group, the case shall be put on the agenda of a subsequent panel or working group meeting (EB 49, Annex 26, para 12).

The request will then be considered by the Chair of the Board and Chair of the relevant panel or working group:

Upon receiving the Secretariat's summary note, the Chair of the Board in consultation with the and [sic] Chair of the relevant panel or working group(s), shall decide within five working days:

  • To accept the request for deviation; or
  • To reject the request for deviation (EB 49, Annex 26, para 13).

The Secretariat's recommendation is deemed to be accepted by the Chair if no decision is provided within five days (EB 49, Annex 26, para 14).

The request may be considered at the Board meeting:

The Chair of the Board, in consultation with the Chair of the relevant Panel or working group, may decide to discuss case(s) in the Board meeting, if it is considered that the request for deviation requires further discussion on some policy issue(s). The Chair of the Board in consultation with the secretariat shall put the case(s) on the agenda of a subsequent Board meeting (EB 49, Annex 26, para 15).

The Chair's decision is then communicated to all Board members, who may within ten working days put forward reasons for further consideration by the Board of the case at a subsequent meeting if they disagree with the Chair's decision (EB 49, Annex 26, para 16).

Information regarding the decision shall be communicated to the DOE and made publicly available:

Once a decision has been made the secretariat shall promptly inform the DOE about the decision. In case where the Chair decided to discuss the case in the Board meeting, the DOE shall be informed about it. The decision the Board shall be made publicly available on the CDM website. If the Board decides to issue general guidelines it shall be made publicly available in the UNFCCC CDM website and through the CDM news facility.

It should be noted that this procedure is expressed only in general terms, without specific reference to Small-scale projects. There is, however, no indication that Small-scale projects are to be excluded from it.

Procedures for notifying and requesting approval of changes from the project activity

The Procedures for notifying and requesting approval of changes from the project activity as described in the registered Project Design Document is contained in EB 48, Annex 66. This guidance document sets out:

  • procedures for submission of notification or request for approval of changes from the project description in the Project Design Document;
  • procedures for consideration of a notification of changes by the secretariat and Chair of the Executive Board; and
  • procedures for consideration of a request for approval of changes by the Executive Board.

Where the DOE determines that the implementation or operation of a CDM project activity does not conform to the description in the registered PDD and this does not raise concerns under the provisions above relating to requests for deviation or related guidelines, the DOE is to submit a notification of changes, containing a validated opinion, the revised Project Design Document, and supplemental documentation (EB 48, Annex 66, paragraphs 2, 8-11).

If the change does relate to the provisions relating to requests for deviation or related guidelines, the DOE will not conclude the verification/certification of the emission reductions for the corresponding period and will notify and seek guidance from the Executive Board on the acceptability of the changes. (EB 48, Annex 66, paragraph 3). A request for approval of changes is to be submitted, containing a validated opinion, the revised Project Design Document, and supplemental documentation (EB 48, Annex 66, paragraphs 8-11).

The procedure is to be applied by the DOE in relation to permanent changes from the registered project activity if either:

  1. The project has never been implemented in accordance with the description in the registered PDD; or
  2. Permanent changes occur after the project activity has been implemented in accordance with the description in the PDD and issuance of CERs has taken place (EB 48, Annex 66, paragraph 7).

The Guidelines on assessment of different types of changes from the project activity as described in the registered PDD are contained in EB 48, Annex 67. This document addresses various types of permanent changes impacting at least one of the following aspects:

  • changes which may impact the additionality of the project activity;
  • changes in the scale of the CDM project activity; and
  • changes impacting the applicability / application of baseline methodology (EB 48, Annex 67).

The document provides guidance on how various changes should be assessed by the verifying DOE, and is to be used in conjunction with the Procedures for notifying and requesting approval of changes from the project activity as described in the registered Project Design Document, above.

Related Topics

Designated operational entity (DOE)

Project participants

What is validation? (SSC)

What is verification? (SSC)

What is a methodology? (SSC)

Executive Board

Emission reductions

Deviations from the CDM-PDD

Deviations from the CDM-AR-PDD

Deviations from the CDM-SSC-AR-PDD