A Guide to Greenhouse Gas Benchmarking for Climate Policy Instruments

Technical note

NewClimate Institute and Ricardo Energy and Environment developed a comprehensive technical note for World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness program (PMR) on the topic of ‘GHG benchmarking for climate policy instruments’.


The document provides practical guidance on key design elements for establishing GHG benchmarks for applications in climate policy instruments. It discusses benchmarking applications for the Emission trading schemes (determining allocation of emissions allowances), carbon taxes (determining tax exemptions), and scaled-up crediting programs (baseline development).

The process of GHG benchmark development, implementation and management is explained in five easy steps, illustrated below along with key activities needed under each.

The guide draws on global experiences with GHG benchmarking, covering practices in 16 jurisdictions that are currently using or are in design stages of a benchmark development approach. The guide synthesizes these experiences and systematically presents common practices of countries, regions together with key take-aways for practitioners.

Contact for further information: Carsten Warnecke and Ritika Tewari