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Accounting for Carbon: Monitoring, Reporting and Verifying Emissions in the Climate Economy

  • Analyses how common issues are treated in existing carbon pricing mechanisms – helps readers to understand the key trade-offs faced by regulators when MRV procedures are implemented, and why different regulators may strike a different balance, depending on their specific context
  • Includes 'MRV ID tables' for the policy frameworks and up-and-running carbon pricing schemes that are discussed – allows for easy comparison of the different MRV requirements in different systems
  • Provides cost estimates of MRV and lists the nature and stringency of MRV requirements for most schemes/case studies – allows readers to benchmark MRV systems (particularly those currently being designed) against existing ones

By: Valentin Bellassen(Editor), Nicolas Stephan(Editor)

592 pages, 42 b/w illustrations, 1 map, 76 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Mar 2015 | #217198 | ISBN-13: 9781107098480
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £80.99 $103/€90 approx

About this book

The ability to accurately monitor, record, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions is the cornerstone of any effective policy to mitigate climate change. Accounting for Carbon provides the first authoritative overview of the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions from the industrial site, project and company level to the regional and national level. It describes the MRV procedures in place in more than fifteen of the most important policy frameworks – such as emissions trading systems in Europe, Australia, California and China, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – and compares them along key criteria such as scope, cost, uncertainty and flexibility. Accounting for Carbon draws on the work of engineers and economists to provide a practical guide to help government and non-governmental policy makers and key stakeholders in industry to better understand different MRV requirements, the key trade-offs faced by regulators and the choices made by up-and-running carbon pricing initiatives.

"Confidence in the impact of climate policies and actions is underpinned by the integrity of measurement – both of baseline scenarios and the impact of mitigation measures. This book provides a thorough comparison of the main tools and mechanisms developed over the last decade, consolidating our understanding of best practice within the carbon markets and climate policy. It provides a useful guide to creating better systems to help solve the generational challenge of climate change."
– Adrian Rimmer, Chief Executive Officer, The Gold Standard Foundation

"The GHG monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system provides a foundation for development and implementation of any climate policy. This book provides excellent examples on how MRV have been implemented by countries at both program and project level. Countries may have different priorities and preferences in choosing a suitable policy instrument, e.g. emissions trading or carbon tax for pricing carbon. However, MRV accounting is an essential part of the 'no-regrets' approach to climate change, regardless of the choice of the instrument."
– Xueman Wang, Team Leader, Partnership for Market Readiness, Climate and Carbon Finance, Climate Change Group, The World Bank Group



1. Introduction: key notions and trade-offs involved in MRVing emissions Valentin Bellassen and Ian Cochran

Part I. MRV of Territorial/Jurisdictional Emissions:
2. Trend setter for territorial schemes: national GHG inventories under the UNFCCC Jean-Pierre Chang and Valentin Bellassen
3. Variant n°1: region/city geographical inventories Ian Cochran
4. Variant n°2: sectoral MRV at the jurisdictional level – forestry (REDD+) in the VCS and the UNFCCC Mariana Deheza and Valentin Bellassen

Part II. MRV of Industrial Sites and Entities:
5. Trend setter for companies and industrial sites: the EU Emissions Trading Scheme Guillaume Jacquier and Valentin Bellassen
6. Variant n°1: the waste sector in Australia's carbon pricing mechanism, another ETS at site level Marion Afriat and Emilie Alberola
7. Variant n°2: non-site level emissions in an ETS – the case of electricity importers in the California cap-and-trade Marion Afriat and Emilie Alberola
8. Variant n°3: emissions of a company/institution rather than a site: the case of the Shenzhen ETS Caspar Chiquet
9. Variant n°4: coexistence of voluntary and mandatory frameworks at the company level: Carbon Disclosure Project, EU ETS and French legal requirements Romain Morel and Ian Cochran
10. Direct measurement in the EU ETS Chris Dimopoulos

Part III. MRV at Offset Project Scale:
11. Trend setter for projects: the Clean Development Mechanism Igor Shishlov
12. Case study n°1: monitoring requirements for projects reducing N2O emissions from fertilizer use across standards Claudine Foucherot
13. Case study n°2: monitoring requirements for reforestation and improved forest management projects across standards Mariana Deheza
14. Case study n°3: monitoring requirements for fugitive emissions from fuels in the CDM Alexandra Barker and Rod Robinson
15. Synthesis Valentin Bellassen, Nicolas Stephan, Marion Afriat, Emilie Alberola, Alexander Barker, Jean-Pierre Chang, Caspar Chiquet, Ian Cochran, Mariana Deheza, Chris Dimopoulos, Claudine Foucherot, Guillaume Jacquier, Romain Morel, Rod Robinson and Igor Shishlov


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Valentin Bellassen is a researcher at Institut National pour la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) where he focuses on the economics of agro-ecology. He is also an accredited UNFCCC reviewer for national greenhouse gas inventories. For four years, he worked at CDC Climat where he managed the research unit on MRV, agriculture and forestry.

Nicolas Stephan is an investment officer at CDC Climat where he is in charge of voluntary carbon offsetting as well as participations in innovative carbon investment vehicles. He worked for five years in the research department of CDC Climat on various topics related to carbon and energy markets.

- Valentin Bellassen
- Ian Cochran
- Jean-Pierre Chang
- Mariana Deheza
- Guillaume Jacquier
- Marion Afriat
- Emilie Alberola
- Caspar Chiquet
- Romain Morel
- Chris Dimopoulos
- Igor Shishlov
- Claudine Foucherot
- Alexandra Barker
- Rod Robinson
- Nicolas Stephan

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