Greenhouse gas monitoring is trialled wind energy project

How do you measure whether and to what extent a project is helping to mitigate climate change? It is particularly important in the context of climate negotiations that actions to mitigate climate change be measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV). Results of this kind are even more difficult to pin down if the effect a project has on emissions reduction is of a more indirect nature. The International Climate Initiative (ICI) funds many projects that involve advising political decision-makers in partner countries on climate change and sustainable energy supply. These types of measure do not directly reduce emissions but improve the enabling environment for doing so. In an ICI project, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH has now trialled a greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring approach that can help quantify the impact on climate change of a policy advice project. 

The project in question is supporting Viet Nam in its expansion of wind energy. Viet Nam needs an appropriate regulatory framework that creates reliable conditions for private investors. GTZ has been commissioned by BMU to advise the Vietnamese Government on developing instruments to promote this, modelled on the German Renewable Energy Sources Act, on developing wind energy plans in the provinces, and on supporting the private sector in establishing grid-connected wind farms. If the measures initiated are successfully implemented, the project can contribute to the expansion of renewable energies in Viet Nam and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

To quantify the project’s contribution to climate change mitigation, GTZ is running a pilot scheme to trial a new method for monitoring the indirect impact on greenhouse gases of particular measures. This essentially involves identifying national climate change mitigation goals and then analysing what obstacles stand in their way. Based on interviews with experts, the various obstacles are given a weighting and an estimate is made (expressed as a percentage) of the extent to which they are hampering achievement of the stated goals. If, at the end of a project, an obstacle has been completely overcome and the national climate change goal can be implemented, a share of the reduction effect is allocated to it (in tonnes of CO2).

This measuring method contributes to the debate on applying MRV methods in any future international climate regime. However, it needs to be further developed and refined. BMU is feeding the findings of the pilot scheme into the ongoing discussions on MRV. This includes GTZ presenting the monitoring system at one of ICI’s expert workshops on 18 and 19 October 2010.