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The Importance of Baselines

Press release   •   Jun 03, 2014 02:00 CEST

Spreading experience from ten developing countries to support future baseline development

The National Determined Contributions for the post-2020 agreement to, hopefully, be agreed upon in Paris next year is soon to be given to the UNFCCC. As always several developing countries are expected to pledge a reduction goal against a baseline. The difference is that this year the UNFCCC is going to ask for more detailed information about the assumptions behind the baseline and the methodology used.

This information is important to interpret how ambitious the target is and what the likely level of emissions will be in the future. The LCTU therefore believe that building robust baselines is of great importance and are happy to support this work. The wish to support countries in improving their baselines development was the main aim of the joint OECD, UNEP Risø Centre and DEA publication National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline Scenarios – Learning from Experiences in Developing Countries.

This spring there has been a significant demand for the Baseline work of the LCTU from different fora under the UNEP, UNFCCC and the World Bank. The LCTU has therefore presented the publication at the FIRM Country Interaction Workshop, the annual Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) workshop for Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe and the Second Annual Conference of The Economics of Green Growth Peer-Assisted Learning Network (EGGPAL) in Istanbul 14-16 May 2014.

A key lesson in the baseline publication, which was underlined by the participants in all three fora, is that baseline development is highly country specific. Each country faces different challenges depending on the available resources, the structure of the economy, the expected use of the results and the modelling capacity. However, despite these differences, some of the questions countries have to ask themselves when they set off the baseline work are generic. The guiding principles of the baseline publication address these generic questions and highlight the importance of transparency when deciding on the answers.

The hope of the LCTU is that spreading the experiences from ten developing countries can highlight the does and don’ts, supporting countries in avoiding common pitfalls of the baseline work.

National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline Scenarios

Lena Lindbjerg Sperling
Tlf.: 3392 7528