Standardized crediting Framework


The Standardized Crediting Framework (SCF) is a streamlined, country-owned emissions reduction crediting framework that improves transparency of national crediting decision making, reduces transaction costs, and shortens the time it takes to generate those emissions reductions. Developed and supported by the Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev), the SCF builds on the lessons learned from experiences with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) model, which was developed and used under the Kyoto treaty. This means that the SCF can help countries to access climate finance, lower transaction costs for emissions reduction crediting operations, and encourage private sector engagement in energy access.


The SCF can support a country’s climate action plans and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement by helping to build capacity of host country institutions,improve coordination among domestic entities, and align climate change policy goals with sectoral ones. Taken together, these support mechanisms can help countries to participate in emissions reduction crediting and to access results-based climate finance. Examples of the SCF in action in Rwanda and Senegal can be found here.

Due to these successes, Ci-Dev donors have agreed to offer the SCF to the other countries and regions where the Ci-Dev portfolio is active: Ethiopia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Mali, Uganda, Senegal, Rwanda and Burkina Faso.


The SCF addresses challenges faced by CDM programs in the current crediting system, especially energy access programs in Africa. These include:

  • Low capacity of emission reduction developers—through simplification of reporting requirements and helping standardize most of the monitoring parameters at the national level;
  • Interaction with domestic policies—by focusing on technologies with clear additionality;
  • Data needs and the related transaction costs for monitoring—reduced by using more standardized approaches, using simplifications to the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system, and simplifying the project cycle.
Key Elements
Key Elements
  • Positive lists for additionality

The SCF offers robust yet streamlined approaches for assessing additionality, enabling a greater variety of project activities to be implemented.

  • Streamlined MRV approaches

The SCF incorporates efficient monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) approaches, such as a reduced need for site visits, use of local experts for auditing, faster timelines for checking documentation, tiered accuracy requirements, and calibration requirements appropriate to the country.

  • Efficient governance arrangements

The SCF is implemented through governance and institutional arrangements independent from the UNFCCC process. This could be achieved by building on a country’s existing structures, thus avoiding, to the extent possible, the creation of new institutions and helping to reduce the administrative and financial burden on the national government. At the same time, this approach improves transparency and predictability of the decision making.

  • Simplified project cycle

The SCF builds on earlier proposals for streamlining the project cycle by eliminating the validation step, and instead combines verification of the project design, its compliance, and performance into a single ex-post third party audit.

More technical information on the SCF including reports on the pilots in Rwanda and Senegal is available here.