A CDM Programme of Activities is a collective action that mitigates the emissions of greenhouse gases or acts to remove such gases from the atmosphere (sinks). The Programmes are typically undertaken where such activities are too small to be feasible as a single registered project. The advent of PoA has also allowed mitigation actions at the household level to be achieved.


The concept is described by the Executive Board:


A Programme of Activities is a voluntary coordinated action by a private or public entity which coordinates and implements any policy/measure or stated goal (i.e. incentive schemes and voluntary programmes), which leads to anthropogenic GHG emission reductions or net anthropogenic greenhouse gas removals by sinks that are additional to any that would occur in the absence of the PoA, via an unlimited number of CDM programme activities (CPAs)

[Minutes of EB47, Annex 29, paragraph 3]


A PoA is made up of CDM Programme Activities (CPA). Multiple CPA can be included under the PoA at the time of registration and additional CPAs may be added at any time during the lifetime of the PoA. A CPA is a single or interrelated set of measures to reduce GHG emissions or result in net anthropogenic greenhouse gas removals by sinks. The measures are applied in a designated area define in the baseline methodology.



CPAs may also be run in multiple countries under a single PoA, in which case the PoA must elicit confirmation that the Programme advances the objectives of sustainable development in that country from each participating Party.


Requirements for a Programme of Activities

Programme of Activities must demonstrate real, additional and measurable emission reductions or removals. Whilst there are no restrictions on the content of the Programme it must result in emission reductions or sequestration of emissions. However it is unclear whether the policy or measure, that the PoA is established to achieve, must be defined by the government. Article 12(5) of the Kyoto Protocol requires that all projects to be registered under the CDM must be a voluntary action undertaken on the basis of approval by the relevant Parties. Therefore in general it is not possible to register a PoA where a mandatory policy regulation requires the entity to undertake the actions and that policy is enforced.


However two special cases exist in this regard, where the policy is not enforced or where the PoA would enhance enforcement thereof. Additionality for PoAs in the context of a Programme of Activities the requirement of additionality mean that both the PoA itself and each CPA would not have been implemented, or would not have been implemented to the same extent, without registration under the CDM. Therefore the coordinating entity must demonstrate that in the absence of the CDM:


    1. The proposed voluntary measure would not be implemented, or
    2. The mandatory policy or regulation would be systematically not enforced and that non-compliance with those requirements is widesprea, or
    3. The PoA would lead to a greater level of enforcement of the existing mandatory policy Further, additionality must also be considered at the level of individual CPAs. The criteria for the demonstration of this must be stipulated in both the PoA documents and CPA documents.


Requirements for CDM Programme Activities

A Programme of Activities is made up of CDM Programme Activities (CPAs). A CDM programme activity is a single, or a set of interrelated measure(s) to reduce GHG emissions or result in net anthropogenic greenhouse gas removals by sinks, applied in a designated area. Mulitple CPAs can be added to a PoA at any time during the lifetime of the PoA. To include an additional CPA in a registered PoA the coordinating entity shall forward the completed CPA documents to any Designated Operational Entity for consistency checking. If the CPA is consistent with the overall PoA the DOE can include it by uploading it to the UNFCCC website. PoAs are usually considered to be many small scale activities which are not viable to run as individual CDM projects, however there is no technical restriction which prevents the creation of a PoA which includes as CPAs projects which would otherwise be registered as standard CDM projects.


Duration of the PoA

A Programme of Activities should not exceed 28 years and a CPA may be added at any time. However the crediting period for any CPA is limited to 7 years, which can be renewed a maximum of 2 times, or a non-renewable period of 10 years. The duration of the crediting period of any CPA is limited to the end of the PoA regardless of when the CPA was added.