Measuring carbon emissions

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Measuring Carbon Emissions looks for ways to enable better carbon accounting so that emission reductions can be reliably measured and verified. The basic idea of REDD+ is to give rewards for successfully reducing the amount of carbon emitted through deforestation and forest degradation. To determine whether a REDD+ activity has been successful in reducing carbon emissions — and hence to allocate rewards — it is obviously essential to measure the size of the emission reductions. To calculate the size of emission reductions attributable to a REDD+ intervention, we need to know two things: (1) the amount of carbon emitted after the intervention; and (2) the amount of carbon that would have been emitted if there had been no intervention (known as the "reference level" or "baseline"). The volume of emission reductions is calculated as the actual emissions after REDD+ minus the reference emissions. A critical element of REDD+ in each country, therefore, is a credible and accurate "MRV system": a system for measuring the results of REDD+ activities, reporting those results to the international community, and then verifying the reports. However, developing MRV systems involves a lot of technical challenges. Our research focuses on generating the information, methods and tools needed to overcome these challenges and to build capacity.

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