BASE was conceived after the experience with the JOINT project and other "learning by doing" activities (particularly ERUPT and the PCF) showed that there was very little by way of harmonised approaches for definition of incorporation and baselines in the field of Joint Implementation in the Accession States of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEACs). In particular, it was shown that there was very little agreement on the means by which to demonstrate incorporation under the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC. The methodology and, indeed the nomenclature, for baselines were often confusing and inconsistent.
BASE was designed to bring key stakeholders together in each country, with a focus on the UNFCCC "focal points", in order to reach consensus on:
- Defining how baselines should be developed and the requirements on JI applicants for demonstrating incorporation under Kyoto;
- Developing a harmonised nomenclature on, and framework for, baselines ranging from the simplest heat only projects to the more complicated combined heat and power grid feed in projects;
- Familiarising key players in each country with various baseline methodologies and then "testing" an agreed baseline approach on "real" projects in each country;
- Developing national electricity sector baselines working with key electricity sector players in each country and key government stakeholders in each country;
- Comparing approaches and results between countries in a "learning by doing" approach
BASE developed a project boundary definition system built up of a number of project components that are common to all energy sector projects. The system developed under the BASE project has already been adopted by the Austrian Government. Additionally, BASE is working alongside government to facilitate JI project development by developing national criteria for JI project implementation that are clear and transparent both to potential investors and to key government stakeholders.
Guidelines have been set out for the practical implementation of JI projects, setting out the methodologies to be applied in each case, providing indications of the levels of expected credits from each type of project, and setting out requirements that will be expected for JI project baseline development in each country and internationally.
BASE has consolidated existing databases in each country that are being used for a number of purposes such as the national communications being prepared by the UNFCCC focal points and the energy planning being carried out by those government agencies responsible in each country for the energy sector.
Furthermore, working alongside governments, BASE has defined baselines for the electricity sector in each country, using tools and models that are already being used by government and the relevant sectored players to establish the emissions framework for the sector in each country, and thereby set the framework for defining incorporation of proposed JI projects. In working with governments on JI and baselines there are a number of benefits that the BASE project has bought to each of the host governments within the project and these are:
- The ability to deal systematically with the key issues of incorporation
- A nomenclature and methodology to review and appraise JI projects
- The ability to compare the advantages and disadvantages of JI vis-à-vis other types of support (e.g., subsidies, targets, etc.)
- More confidence on the part of host governments in working with investors who propose JI projects, and in evaluating their JI proposals
- An understanding of the project cycle and project risk, and how they can reduce costs in JI.