CDM Post-2012 - New CDM Baseline and Governance Approaches for Grid Emission Factor Calculations in the Central American Region

Federico A. Canu

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


The Kyoto commitment period has come to an end in 2012, and new discussions have started on how the new commitment period and its market mechanism will be shaped. It seems like the CDM will continue to exist in the future, either as a parallel system to the new one, or as an integrated part. The thesis addresses how the CDM’s environmental integrity and the uneven country participation to the mechanism can be enhanced. The research focuses on the UNFCCC methodology tool to calculate the emission factor of an electricity system, which is used to calculate baseline emissions by the largest share of CDM projects. The tool is here used to calculate the national and a regional grid emission factors for the Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. The analysis in the thesis shows how the methodology tool, made with a specific project-by-project rationale cannot be applied to historical national electricity generation averages, with increasing transnational electricity exchanges. By allowing the inclusion of emissions related to electricity imports and not exports, the tool results in a potential excessive issuance of carbon credits for emission reductions that will not occur in reality. The increased interconnection between national electricity systems poses new challenges for the methodology tool, which will have to be reformed and refined to prevent an excessive issuance of CERs. In addition, different ways in which the tool can be shaped to calculate baseline emissions, to ensure a higher environmental integrity, will have different impacts on the potential carbon finance generation in different countries. On the other hand, accurate grid emission factor calculations carry large transaction costs, and require a large amount of data which is not available for project developers in many countries. This becomes a barrier for increased access and equal country participation to the CDM. These factors illustrate the complexity of the problem of how CDM compliance rules and procedures for calculating grid emission factors should be shaped. By drawing on examples from other countries and regions, and guided by theory on transnational climate governance, the thesis presents an alternative CDM governance structure for renewable energy grid connected projects, to lower transaction costs, and ensure a higher accuracy of baseline calculations.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 feb. 2013
VejledereRikke Lybæk


  • Central America
  • lo carbon development
  • electricity grid
  • CDM
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Panama
  • grid integration
  • operating margin
  • Guatemala
  • Grid Emission Factor
  • transaction costs
  • GEF
  • Belize
  • Certified Emission Reductions
  • CER
  • RE
  • Nicaragua
  • electricity generation
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • enevironmental integrity
  • Renewable Energy
  • GEF tool
  • tool to calculate the emission factor of an electricity system