Approach Towards Establishing The Forest Reference Level

PNG proposes a FRL that exceeds historical average emissions for expected future growth of BAU emissions in the land-use sector. 

PNG is aware that most countries have projected historical emissions through using simple averages to represent their forest reference level. Only few countries have found it necessary to project an increasing trend, no country has yet projected a decreasing trend. 

Using a historical average to represent future trends implies a strong assumption about the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, namely that these remain approximately at the same level. In countries with falling emissions, using a historical average might overestimate the business-as-usual emissions during the reference period. In countries with increasing emissions, such as PNG, using a historical average would underestimate the business-as-usual emissions during the reference period.

As highlighted in the previous section on national circumstances, this future growth is anticipated as a result of the specific range of factors and supporting evidence presented concerning PNG’s drivers and projected future trends.

Quantifying expected future growth of BAU emissions in the land-use sector relies on extrapolating the trends observed during the reference period. A linearly increasing trend of historical emissions growth is observed over the historical reference period. It is extrapolated for the results-reporting period.

Regressing historical emissions on the years during the reference period delivers good statistics. Both coefficients are statistically highly significant, the determination coefficient indicates a good fit and the residuals show no remaining trends. Full regression statistics are included in the annex to this report.