This paper assesses quantification methods for carbon leakage from forestry activities for their suitability in leakage accounting in a future Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism. To that end, we first conducted a literature review to identify specific pre-requisites for leakage assessment in REDD. We then analyzed a total of 34 quantification methods for leakage emissions from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), the CarbonFix Standard (CFS), and from scientific literature sources.
We screened these methods for the leakage aspects they address in terms of leakage type, tools used for quantification and the geographical scale covered. Results show that leakage methods can be grouped into nine main methodological approaches, six of which could fulfill the recommended REDD leakage requirements if approaches for primary and secondary leakage are combined. The majority of methods assessed, address either primary or secondary leakage; the former mostly on a local or regional and the latter on national scale. The VCS is found to be the only carbon accounting standard at present to fulfill all leakage quantification requisites in REDD. However, a lack of accounting methods was identified for international leakage, which was addressed by only two methods, both from scientific literature.