Projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (COM) need to establish a baseline. The baselines is a projection of greenhouse gas emissions that would have occurred without the project. Establishing baselines that allow for sustainable development through COM projects is a key challenge, especially in poor communities. The COM rules explicitly allow for baselines that account for emissions "above current levels due to specific circumstances of host parties". This provision lends support to crediting of growth in demand for energy services where it is currently suppressed as a result of poverty and/or lack of infrastructure or suppressed demand. The question is whether the existing level of consumption is the baseline or the future expected level of consumption including "development" advances in provision of energy services and as a result of poverty alleviation is the baseline. Or should development be allowed to get dirty before it qualifies to become clean? The paper presents a baseline methodology that provides opportunities for suppressed demand to be predicted and counted.
Winkler, H., & Thorne, S. (2002). Baselines for suppressed demand: CDM projects contribution to poverty alleviation. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 5(2), 413–429. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v5i2.2683