Methodologies for Climate Projects

methodologies for climate projects,

Speaking about methodologies for climate projects, let’s refer to the regulatory framework.

By the Order of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology dated September 30, 2021, No. 1033-st, the National Standard of the Russian Federation “Greenhouse Gas Management and Related Activities. System of approaches and methodological support for the implementation of climate projects” (GOST R ISO 14080-2021) was approved and came into force on January 1, 2022, with the right of early application. The national standard is identical to the international standard ISO 14080:2018 “Greenhouse gas management and related activities – Framework and principles for methodologies on climate actions” (ISO 14080:2018 “Greenhouse gas management and related activities – Framework and principles for methodologies on climate actions”, IDT).

The system of approaches defined in the National Standard establishes guiding principles for states and other stakeholders for a comprehensive, comparable, and transparent approach to the selection, proposal, use, adjustment, and support of methodologies for implementing climate projects.

The National Russian Carbon Unit Operator, AO “Contour,” has developed Rules defining the procedure for public discussions of methodologies and methodological tools for climate projects, as well as their amendments on the Registry Operator platform.

The recommended set of information included in the methodology comprises the following points:

  1. Terms and their definitions.
  2. Applicability of the methodology and project boundaries, including applicability conditions, limitations, and greenhouse gas emission coverage.
  3. Baseline definition.
  4. Project duration, including minimum and maximum duration and maximum retroactivity.
  5. Additionality.
  6. Monitoring plan requirements.
  7. Project scenario.
  8. Leakage emissions assessment from project activities.
  9. Minimization of permanence risk (where applicable).
  10. Methods to prevent double counting, negative environmental, and societal impacts.

Methodologies can be proposed by Developers, executive authorities, and other interested parties. The Registry Operator undertakes to publish Methodologies within 3 working days of receipt. After publication, the Methodologies undergo public discussions on the Registry Operator’s website for 30 days, where opinions of interested parties are gathered via email provided on the website.

During public discussions, the Registry Operator compiles a consolidated list of questions, comments, and suggestions received from discussion participants and forwards them to the Methodology Developer. After discussions, the Developer revises the Methodology project considering the comments, compiling a consolidated list of accepted and rejected comments with reasons for rejection.

After completing discussions and (if necessary) revising the Methodology, the Developer submits the project along with a consolidated list of accepted and rejected comments to the Registry Operator. The Operator reviews the project within 15 calendar days and decides on publication or revision. Upon publication, a consolidated list of comments on the Methodology is also published.

A revised project of the Methodology may be resubmitted for reconsideration. The Developer also has the right to withdraw the project from consideration at any stage of development.

Parallel to public discussions, Methodology projects may undergo independent evaluation by a pool of independent experts formed by the Registry Operator. The evaluation should not exceed 30 calendar days and is funded by the Developer.

Appendix 1 to the Rules. Flowchart of the public discussion process for methodologies and methodological tools for climate projects, as well as changes to them.

As of the writing of this material on 09.04.2024, according to the described procedure, 10 methodologies for implementing various types of climate projects have been accepted. Independent evaluation of Methodologies has not been conducted. The pool of independent experts has not been formed.

Article 5 of the Federal Law dated 02.07.2021 No. 296-FZ “On Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions” provides for the approval of documents of the national standardization system in the field of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, including regarding the implementation of climate projects and determining carbon footprints. In compliance with this norm, based on the methodologies adopted on the AO “Contour” platform, 6 preliminary national standards “System of standards for implementing climate projects” have been developed. They represent methodologies for implementing various types of climate projects with a similar structure to the methodologies.

The Preliminary Standards (methodologies) are available on the Registry Operator’s website as well as on the Rosstandart website.

Furthermore, current legislation does not prevent the initiator of a climate project from choosing methodologies not subjected to public discussion and publication on the Registry Operator’s website. For instance, methodologies such as Verified Carbon Standard or Gold Standard.

Thus, the implementation of climate projects under national legislation provides freedom in choosing methodologies among:

  1. Methodologies of climate projects published by the Registry Operator, undergoing public discussion.
  2. Preliminary national standards (methodologies) approved by Rosstandart.
  3. Other methodologies for implementing climate projects, including voluntary carbon standards.

Validation of the correct application of methodologies is entirely the responsibility of a validator accredited by Rosaccreditation. Information about methodologies (methods) used in climate project implementation is currently non-public.