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WHY CONSERVATIVE BASELINES MATTERS IN AVOIDANCE CREDITS

Avoidance credits represent a category of carbon credits focused on preventing emissions that would have occurred in a business-as-usual scenario. Unlike projects that directly reduce emissions, avoidance credits involve strategies that avoid the generation of emissions altogether.

 

The climate impacts of those carbon offsets are assessed using a hypothetical scenario called a baseline, representing the business-as-usual situation that would have occurred without any intervention. 

Constructing baselines is a nuanced process that demands a delicate equilibrium between precision and practicality. The question of "What would have happened?" lacks a singular, absolute answer, turning baselines into intricate, multifactorial models rather than simple measurements. In this complex undertaking, the first crucial step is the recognition and mitigation of risks and uncertainties.

 

As the baseline directly influences the quantity of credits to be generated and sold, it is imperative for it to be transparent, independent, consistently updated, and inclined toward conservative inputs. This strategic approach not only ensures accuracy in credit estimation but also acts as a preventive measure against any potential accusations of over-crediting, safeguarding the integrity of the entire process.

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HOW TO SET
CONSERVATIVE BASELINES ?

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BASELINES IN THE CASE OF REDD+

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HOW WOULD LEAVIT SET BASELINES ?

In the case of LEAVIT, the business as usual prevented is the extraction and burning of millions of barrels that were originally contained underground. After the commercial discovery has been done, the oil field is accurately sized in the amount of barrels that will be extracted during the total life span of the well. 

Baselines encompass the entire life cycle emissions throughout the entire value chain, incorporating: 

  • Upstream production and field emissions

  • Refining 

  • Transportation

  • Product use (Scope 3)

For example, Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) has reviewed the environmental assessments by the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a consortium of the oil companies TotalEnergies (France) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for the purpose of transporting crude oil from their fields at Tilenga and Kingfisher at Lake Albert through a 1,443 km pipeline.

 

CAI’s evaluation of the EACOP assessments of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the pipeline’s construction phase and its 25-year operational life: 

 

Preventing the EACOP project equates to averting the release of 379 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The baseline scenario also takes into account the variability of the crude flow throughout the operational life of the well. For example in the case of EACOP : 

Carbon credits will be generated every year ex-post accordingly.

If you're seeking additional information on:

  • Baseline scenarios based on oil field constraints 

  • Detailed calculations of a barrel's life cycle analysis

  • List of independent partners eligible to baseline setting 

LEAVIT_BASELINE

Source: EACOP lifetime emissions from pipeline construction and operations, and crude oil shipping, refining, and end use

Climate Accountability Institute, Richard Heede

LEAVIT_BASELINE

Source: EACOP lifetime emissions from pipeline construction and operations, and crude oil shipping, refining, and end use

Climate Accountability Institute, Richard Heede

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