Establishing Scaled-up Crediting Program Baselines under the Paris Agreement: Issues and Options

The Partnership for Market Readiness has published a landmark technical note on baselines, co-authored by Carbon Limits’ Randall Spalding-Fecher.


This technical note offers guidance and identifies options for developing baselines for scaled-up crediting programs under the Paris Agreement. Establishing baselines is partly a technical, methodological challenge, but the biggest uncertainties arise from unresolved questions regarding international rules under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, as well as how crediting programs may interact with achievement of countries’ “nationally determined contributions” (NDC). How should scaled-up crediting programs complement a host country’s overall climate and sectoral policy goals, and how should baseline development — and overall crediting program design — be coordinated with other aspects of national climate policy? This note presents core principles that are likely to inform rules for new crediting mechanisms (i.e., environmental integrity and avoiding double counting), as well as options and preliminary considerations for how to establish baselines in light of these principles.