Project based approaches vs comprehensive policy design
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Project-Based Approaches vs. Comprehensive Policy Design. Jeff Fiedler Natural Resources Defense Council November 1, 2003 Katoomba Group, Locarno. What Are We Trying To Do?. Design policy that can realize the potential: for forestry to contribute to climate solutions

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Project-Based Approaches vs. Comprehensive Policy Design

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Project based approaches vs comprehensive policy design

Project-Based Approaches vs. Comprehensive Policy Design

Jeff FiedlerNatural Resources Defense Council

November 1, 2003

Katoomba Group, Locarno


What are we trying to do

What Are We Trying To Do?

  • Design policy that can realize the potential:

    • for forestry to contribute to climate solutions

    • for carbon incentives to change land use

  • Criteria:

    • Scale

    • Accurate assessment of benefits

    • Administrative feasibility

    • Political feasibility


Policy design options

Policy Design Options

  • Project-based offsets

  • Extension of project-boundary:

    • Entity-wide

    • Landscape

    • National

  • Opt-in vs. Mandatory

  • Non-trading policies:

    • Tax policy

    • Direct regulation/standards

    • Incentives/subsidies


Can projects achieve potential

Can Projects Achieve Potential?

  • Cherry Picking: only credits, no debits

  • Transaction costs reduce economies of scale

  • Capacity limits for project participants, administrators, verifiers

  • Do project methodologies still apply once projects become widespread, large-scale?

  • Double-counting

  • Structural policies difficult to handle

  • Will we find credible rules, methodologies?


Benefits of comprehensiveness

Benefits of Comprehensiveness

  • Greater coverage

  • Reduce or eliminate cherry-picking

  • Economies of scale for monitoring

  • Reduce many transaction costs

    • Avoid difficult project methodologies

    • Reduce administrative costs

  • Account for structural policies

  • Capture multiple revenue streams


Technical issues

Technical Issues

  • Still need policies to translate national target into incentive for landowners

  • Monitoring technical, cost limits

  • Variability in land use sector could cause problems for meeting targets

  • Public vs. private land treatment

  • Permanence/Reversibility

  • Timing of monitoring


Practical and political issues

Practical and Political Issues

  • Mandatory regulation of forest/ag sector

  • Less suitable for some countries, regions

  • Acceptability of greater role for sinks

  • Cost for lands with no C changes

  • Target setting and allocation:

    • Potential glut of allowances

    • Handling both +ve, -ve C projections

  • Registry mechanics for debits

  • Can it provide community benefits


Final questions

Final Questions

  • Comprehensive accounting and project-based policies are fundamentally different

    • Is comprehensive accounting better?

  • If comprehensive policy is the end-goal, how much time and effort do we want to invest in project-based approach?

  • Are we doing enough research on comprehensive accounting?


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