The baseline (or reference) is the state against which change is measured. It might be a ‘current baseline,’ in which case it represents observable, present-day conditions. It might also be a ‘future baseline,’ which is a projected future set of conditions excluding the driving factor of interest. Alternative interpretations of the reference conditions can give rise to multiple baselines.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2012 1
A description of existing conditions to provide a reference (e.g. pre-project condition of biodiversity) against which comparisons can be made (e.g. post-impact condition of biodiversity), allowing the change to be quantified.
Adapted from Business Biodiversity and Offsets Programme (BBOP) 2012 2
References & Websites
- IPCC (2012) Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, USA
- BBOP (2012) Glossary. Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme, Washington DC, USA