MERVC guidelines published on energy-efficiency/forestry projects to mitigate climate change

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) has published two sets of guidelines for the monitoring, evaluation, reporting, verification, and certification (MERVC) of energy-efficiency projects and forestry projects for climate change mitigation.


Because of concerns with the growing threat of global climate change from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the United States and other countries are implementing, by themselves or in co-operation with one or more other nations, climate change mitigation projects. These projects will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and may also result in non-GHG benefits and costs (i.e., other environmental and socio-economic benefits and costs).

LBL says that guidelines are needed for these projects in order to accurately determine their impact on GHG and other attributes. Implementation of standardized guidelines is also intended to:

  • increase the reliability of data for estimating GHG benefits;
  • provide real-time data so that programs and plans can be revised mid-course;
  • introduce consistency and transparency across project types and reporters;
  • enhance the credibility of the projects with stakeholders;
  • reduce costs by providing an international, industry consensus approach and methodologies; and
  • reduce financing costs, allowing project bundling and pooled project financing.

The guidelines cover the following items:

  • a description of seven methods (engineering methods, basic statistical models, multivariate statistical models, end-use metering, short-term monitoring, and integrative methods) for evaluating energy savings;
  • an explanation of key issues influencing the establishment of a credible baseline (free riders) and the calculation of gross energy savings (positive project spillover and market transformation);
  • a process for verifying and certifying project impacts, based on an interpretation of the Kyoto Protocol;
  • a discussion of the importance and value of including environmental and socio-economic impacts in the evaluation of energy-efficiency projects;
  • reporting forms for estimation of gross and net energy savings and emission reductions (Appendix A), for monitoring and evaluation of these savings (Appendix B), and for verification (Appendix C); and
  • Quality Assurance Guidelines that require evaluators and verifiers to indicate specifically how key methodological issues are addressed.

The Guidelines can be accessed on the Web in Adobe Acrobat format by following the link below.

Forestry project guidelines

Similarly, LBL has produced MERVC guidelines for forestry projects aimed at mitigating climate change. These guidelines cover the following items:

  • a description of three methods (modelling, remote sensing, and field/site measurement) for evaluating changes in the carbon stock;
  • an explanation of key issues influencing the establishment of a credible baseline (free riders) and the calculation of changes to the carbon stock (project leakage, positive project spillover, and market transformation);
  • a process for verifying and certifying project impacts, based on an interpretation of the Kyoto Protocol;
  • a discussion of the importance and value of including environmental and socio-economic impacts in the evaluation of forestry projects;
  • reporting forms for estimation of changes in carbon stock (Appendix A), for monitoring and evaluation of these changes (Appendix B), and for verification (Appendix C); and
  • Quality Assurance Guidelines that require evaluators and verifiers to indicate specifically how key methodological issues are addressed.

These are also linked below, as an Adobe Acrobat file (requires Acrobat Reader).

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