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DFID research: Standardised baselines - an important reform to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

A new DFID-funded report demonstrates how "standardised baselines" can help LDCs access carbon market finance easier.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new DFID-funded report demonstrates how “standardised baselines” - an important reform to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that was agreed at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun last year - can help Least Developed Countries (LDCs) access carbon market finance more easily.

Standardised baselines are uniform procedures that can help simplify the processes of calculating emission reductions and demonstrating that a potential CDM project is additional (i.e. it wouldn’t have happened anyway). This can help reduce complexity and transaction costs for project developers. Complexity and high transactions costs deter small-scale projects and, since these are common in low income countries, standardised approaches could also help increase the number of CDM projects in these countries that have so far been underrepresented in the CDM.

The work, launched last year in Cancun and undertaken by a consortium of Perspectives, Poyry, South Pole and GERES, aimed to develop three new standardised CDM methodologies in sectors with high relevance to LDCs and test each methodology using three case study countries. The final project reports and draft CDM methodologies are available at

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Published 29 November 2011