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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Baseline-and-Credit Methods (CMSE11455)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe baseline-and-credit method is a highly flexible and widely used method for quantifying the change in emissions caused by projects, policies or any other form of climate change mitigation intervention. This method forms the basis for emission reduction project crediting, policy appraisal/evaluation, results-based payments, and green investment decision-making. The course provides students with practical experience in using this method through the assessment and validation of a case study.
Course description This course is intended to provide students with the relevant knowledge and skills to quantify and validate the emission reductions caused by projects, policies, or any other interventions aimed at climate change mitigation.

The course introduces the range of applications for baseline-and-credit methods, and discusses emerging applications such as Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the international aviation offset scheme (CORSIA). The course then explores a number of fundamental concepts such as baselines, additionality, emissions factors, and validation. The course is structured around weekly lectures, in which the key concepts are introduced, followed by workshops in which the concepts are put into practice through application to group projects.

The course also involves a number of guest lectures to discuss cutting-edge developments in the use of baseline-and-credit methods. Guest lectures are arranged each year to provide up-to-date content, and may include organisations such as the Gold Standard, Peatland Code, or Plan Vivo.

Outline Content

1. Overview of baseline-and-credits methods
2. Paris Agreement - Article 6
3. Baselines
4. Calculating emissions
5. Additionality
6. Validation
7. Emerging applications and issues

Student Learning Experience

The course will be taught through weekly lectures which will introduce a key concept or issue, followed by workshops in which the concepts are put into practice through application within case-based group work.

The course includes a number of guest speakers, either in person or via Skype. This provides useful real-world insights alongside the more theoretical aspects of the course.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements AvaIilable for students on Carbon Finance MSc, or Carbon Management MSc only.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 4 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay (Individual) 40% Assesses LO2, LO3
Report (Group) 60% Assesses LO1
Feedback Formative verbal feedback will be provided to the students each week during lectures/discussion sessions, based on the weekly in-class exercises. Feedback will be provided by the Course Organiser, and also by peers within the class. Feedback will also be given on the summative assignments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and apply the key concepts within baseline-and-credit methods to quantify the changes caused by a project, policy or other intervention.
  2. Critically discuss the different rules and procedures within major baseline-and-credit standards.
  3. Critically understand the range of applications for baseline-and-credit methods.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Brander, M. (2016). Transposing lessons between different forms of consequential greenhouse gas accounting: lessons for consequential life cycle assessment, project-level accounting, and policy-level accounting. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 4247-4256.

Hawkes, A. D. (2010). Estimating marginal CO2 emissions rates for national electricity systems. Energy Policy, 38(10), 5977-5987.

WBCSD/WRI. (2014). GHG Protocol - Policy and Action Standard - Executive Summary. Retrieved from and Action Standard - Executive Summary.pdf

World Bank. (2015). International Financial Institution Framework for a Harmonised Approach to Greenhouse Gas Accounting. 2-5. Retrieved from to_Greenhouse_Gas_Accounting.pdf

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should have:
- Detailed knowledge of the key concepts and terms associated with baseline-and-credit methods.
- An understanding of the broad applicability of baseline-and-credit methods.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Quantify the change in emissions caused by a project, policy, or other intervention.
- Assess the additionality of an intervention or emissions outcome.

Cognitive Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Make informed judgements in the absence of complete or consistent data.
- Offer creative solutions and insights on complex issues.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Communicate technical, conceptual and critical information clearly and concisely.
- Develop emission factors and apply them to activity data to calculate greenhouse gas emissions.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others

After completing this course, students should be able to:

- Provide and receive peer-feedback.
- Cooperate with others from different professional, educational and cultural backgrounds.
Special Arrangements AvaIilable for students on Carbon Finance MSc, or Carbon Management MSc only.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Matthew Brander
Tel: (0131 6)51 5547
Course secretaryMs Rhiannon Pilkington
Tel: (0131 6)50 8072
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