Characteristic of a change which would not have occurred without the linked policy intervention or activity (IPCC AR6 WGIII). Since additionality is impossible to demonstrate with 100% certainty, it is more accurate to refer to and estimate the “risk of non-additionality”. International efforts such as the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) are adopting this approach. Note that additionality is a strict requirement of compensation claims (e.g., use of carbon removal for offsetting), but can be relaxed or even ignored when there is no compensation claim being made (e.g., direct government payments to farmers to incentivise a shift to regenerative practices). Three primary tests for assessing the risk of non-additionality are typically used:
  • Financial additionality – Are the revenues from the carbon project the decisive factor in allowing the project to proceed?
  • Regulatory surplus – To what degree is the activity already incentivised or required under the existing policy regime?
  • Common practice – Is the activity being financed commonly conducted? E.g., as more farmers in a region adopt regenerative agricultural methods, the risk of non-additionality increases as the activity becomes more widely understood and accepted.