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Reporting and accounting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol

 

Background

As stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol (KP) the net change in carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks resulting from direct human-induced land-use change and forestry activities shall be used to meet the commitments referred to in Article 3, paragraph 1, of the Kyoto Protocol by each Party included in Annex I.

Reporting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol refers to providing information, including estimates of the changes in carbon stocks and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from land use, land-use change and forestry activities, on:

  • Activities under Article 3, paragraph 3, and,
  • Activities under Article 3, paragraph 4 (mandatory and elected, if any),
in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Kyoto Protocol. The reported estimates of the changes in greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks should be calculated taking into account uncertainties, transparency in reporting, verifiability and following guidance contained in the pdf-icon decision 15/CMP.1 and pdf-icon decision 17/CMP.1: (for the first commitment period) and pdf-icon decision 6/CMP.9: (for the second commitment period).

Accounting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol refers to applying the guidance contained in pdf-icon decision 16/CMP.1: (in the first commitment period) or pdf-icon decision 2/CMP.7: (in the second commitment period) to estimate the net change in carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks resulting from direct human-induced land-use change and forestry activities referred to in Article 3 paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Kyoto Protocol.

Guidance on reporting and accounting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol applicable in the first commitment period differs from the one applicable in the second commitment period.



Reporting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
 
The information to be reported under the Kyoto Protocol (Articles 3.3 and 3.4) during a commitment period is supplementary to the information reported under the Convention (Article 4.1(a)). In particular, Parties do not have to submit two separate inventories but should provide any information required under the Kyoto Protocol as supplementary, within the inventory report, to demonstrate compliance with its commitments under the Protocol.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Parties shall annually report emissions by sources and removals by sinks of CO2 and other greenhouse gases resulting from:
  • LULUCF activities under Article 3.3, namely afforestation, reforestation and deforestation that occurred since 1990.
  • Any elected human-induced activities under Article 3.4, which can be: forest management (mandatory in the second commitment period), revegetation, cropland management and grazing land management.
The reporting shall begin with onset of the activity or beginning of the commitment period, whichever comes later. Parties also have to report annually, supplementary information related to LULUCF under the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakesh Accords to ensure compliance with their commitments. Depending of the reported commitment period, reporting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol shall apply guidelines as explained below.

For the first commitment period pdf-icon decision 15/CMP.1 “Guidelines for the preparation of the information required under Article 7 of the Kyoto Protocol” stipulates that each Party included in Annex I shall include in its annual greenhouse gas inventory information on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraph 3, and, if any, elected activities under Article 3, paragraph 4, in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 2, as elaborated by any good practice guidance in accordance with relevant decisions of the COP/MOP on land use, land-use change and forestry. Estimates for Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, shall be clearly distinguished from anthropogenic emissions from the sources listed in Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol. Detailed reporting requirements are specified in paragraphs 6 to 9 of pdf-icon decision 15/CMP.1 .

pdf-icon Decision 17/CMP.1 “Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol” specifies that for the first commitment period Parties included in Annex I to the Convention that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol shall apply the IPCC Good practice guidance for LULUCF for the purpose of providing information on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraph 3, and, if any, elected activities under Article 3, paragraph 4, in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Kyoto Protocol.

For the second commitment period pdf-icon decision 6/CMP.9“Guidance for reporting information on activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol” stipulates that, for the purpose of providing information on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraph 3, forest management under Article 3, paragraph 4, and elected activities, if any, under Article 3, paragraph 4, of the Kyoto Protocol in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Kyoto Protocol, Parties included in Annex I shall apply the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories , as implemented through the “Guidelines for the preparation of national communications by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, Part I: UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual greenhouse gas inventories”, in accordance with decision 4/CMP.7. Appendix I to pdf-icon decision 2/CMP.6:, provides forest management reference levels (FMRL) that were set transparently based on provision contained in that decision. The secretariat prepared a pdf-icon synthesis report of the key conclusions of the forest management reference level review process.

The same decision further specifies that, for the purpose of providing information referred to above in the second commitment period, Parties included in Annex I shall apply, as appropriate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol in a manner consistent with decision 2/CMP.7, and consistent with annex I of decision 24/CP.19 “Revision of the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention” and remaining regulations contained in pdf-icon decision 6/CMP.9“.

In the same commitment period information on wetland drainage and rewetting activity under Article 3, paragraph 4, of the Kyoto Protocol (if elected) shall be provided according to regulations contained in the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands . The use of the supplement referred to above is encouraged but not mandatory in context of any other activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol.

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Accounting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
 

Unlike the Convention, which includes all emissions and removals from LULUCF in a Party’s total emissions, the Kyoto Protocol restricts the accounting of the LULUCF sector to emissions and removals from specific activities that are defined under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Protocol. Article 3, paragraph 3, covers direct, human-induced, afforestation, reforestation and deforestation activities. Accounting of these is mandatory: each Annex I Party must account for emissions and removals in the commitment period on lands on which these activities have occurred. Article 3, paragraph 4, activities are restricted to forest land management, cropland management, grazing land management and/or revegetation. In the second commitment period article 3, paragraph 4, activities include also wetland drainage and rewetting. Accounting of these activities differs between the first and the second commitment period. For activities that are elective each Party must choose whether to account for emissions and removals from each such activity during the commitment period.

In contrast to emissions from pdf-icon Annex A sources, the Kyoto Protocol requires Parties to account for emissions and removals from LULUCF activities by adding to or subtracting from their initial assigned amount. Net removals from LULUCF activities result in the issuance of additional emission allowances, called removal units or RMUs, which a Party may add to its assigned amount; Parties must account for any net emissions from LULUCF activities by cancelling Kyoto Protocol units. Calculation of the quantity of emission allowances to be issued or cancelled is subject to specific rules, which differ for each LULUCF activity.

Depending of the reported commitment period, accounting of the LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol shall apply guidelines contained in the following decisions:

The annex to pdf-icon decision 16/CMP.1: “Land use, land-use change and forestry” provides rules for accounting of LULUCF activities under KP in the first commitment period. In particular it contains:

  • Definitions (Forest, afforestation, reforestation, deforestation, revegetation, forest management, cropland management and grazing land management).
  • Modalities, rules and guidelines for accounting of LULUCF activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol in the first commitment period
  • Principles to govern LULUCF project activities under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol
More information on accounting of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol in the first commitment period is contained in the pdf-icon Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual.

The annex to pdf-icon decision 2/CMP.7: “Land use, land-use change and forestry” provides rules for accounting of LULUCF activities under KP in the second commitment period. In particular it contains:

  • Definitions (Natural disturbances and Wetland drainage and rewetting”) and confirms that definitions contained in annex to pdf-icon decision 16/CMP.1 (Forest, afforestation, reforestation, deforestation, revegetation, forest management, cropland management and grazing land management) shall be the same in the second commitment period.
  • Modalities, rules and guidelines for accounting of LULUCF activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol in the second commitment period.
  • Principles to govern LULUCF project activities under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol.

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The Kyoto Protocol

Information on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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Flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol

Mechanisms under the KP
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Clean Development Mechanism
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Joint Implementation
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Emission Trading
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Key links

Reporting of LULUCF activities under the KP

Decisions applicable in the first commitment period

pdf-icon Decision 17/CMP.1: Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol
pdf-icon Decision 16/CMP.1: Land use, land-use change and forestry

Decisions applicable in the second commitment period

pdf-icon Decision 6/CMP.9: Guidance for reporting information on activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol
pdf-icon Decision 2/CMP.7: Land-use, land-use change and forestry
pdf-icon Decision 2/CMP.6:
The Cancun Agreements: Land-use, land-use change and forestry

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More information

Methodological Issues, Reporting and Review under the Kyoto Protocol .
































Key links

Accounting of LULUCF activities under the KP

< pdf-icon Decision 2/CMP.7: Land-use, land-use change and forestry
pdf-icon Decision 2/CMP.6:
The Cancun Agreements: Land-use, land-use change and forestry
pdf-icon Decision 16/CMP.1:
Land use, land-use change and forestry

More information

Methodological issues, reporting and review under the Kyoto Protocol .