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Impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period: Proposal from Iceland


The problems associated with the impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period were first raised by the delegation of Iceland during the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol. Iceland expressed concern that, for Parties with very low emissions baselines, a single project (e.g. construction of an aluminium smelter) could lead to a disproportionate percentage increase in emissions. Iceland's concerns were reflected through paragraph 5(d) of decision 1/CP.3, which called for this issue to be further considered at COP 4.
At COP4, Iceland proposed a draft decision on the impact of single projects. According to this proposal, single projects that have a significant proportional impact on emissions in the commitment period should be reported separately, and not included in national totals, to the extent that they would cause a Party to exceed its assigned amount. The proposal explicitly limited this provision to:

  • Parties that account for less than 0.05% of total Annex I emissions in 1990;
  • Single projects involving industrial processes that account for more than 5% of the total greenhouse gas emissions of a Party in 1990;
  • Single projects where renewable energy is used, resulting in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production; and
  • Single projects where best environmental practice is used to minimize process emissions.
A number of Parties requested additional information and clarifications on Iceland's proposal. These requests, and responses provided by Iceland, have been compiled in miscellaneous documents (see below).
Latest developments
Discussions on the impact of single projects took place during COP 4 and at subsequent SBSTA sessions, but no agreement has yet been reached. Although SBSTA 11 invited Parties to submit any further information on the issue by July 2000, no submissions were received. After informal consultations held at part I of SBSTA 13 (Lyon, Sept), Parties agreed to consider the issue further at SBSTA 13, part II in The Hague in November.
Next steps
The impact of single projects will be further discussed in The Hague, initially at SBSTA 13 part II, with the aim of drafting a decision for COP 6.
Documents prepared for the upcoming session
Relevant COP decisions and key SBSTA conclusions
Decision 16/CP.4 Impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period
Decision 1/CP.3 Adoption of the Kyoto Protocol (paragraph 5(d))
SBSTA 9 report para. 42
SBSTA 11 report para. 60
Documents prepared for earlier sessions
Prepared for SBSTA 10, considered at SBSTA 11
/MISC.3 and
Add.1 and
Analyses of the information provided by the delegation of Iceland Submissions by Parties
COP 4 and SBSTA 9
/MISC.11 and Add.1
Submissions by Parties
/MISC.1, Add.2
and Add.4
Submissions by Parties
This agenda item is supported by the Methodology and Science sub-programme


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