The Gold Standard for carbon offsets;
An international standard for carbon offsets was developed to differentiate high quality offsets. Known as The Gold Standard, it ensures that key environmental criteria have been met by offset projects that carry its label. Significantly, only offsets from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects qualify for the Gold Standard, as these projects encourage a shift away from fossil fuel use and carry inherently low environmental risks. Tree planting projects are explicitly excluded by The Gold Standard.
Gold Standard projects must meet very high additionality criteria to ensure that they contribute to the adoption of additional sustainable energy projects, rather than simply funding existing projects. The Gold Standard also includes social indicators to ensure the offset project contributes to sustainable development goals in the country where the project is based.
Some questions that potential buyers can ask of offset vendors:
* Do your offsets result from specific projects?
* Do you use an objective standard to ensure the additionality and quality of the offsets you sell?
* How do you demonstrate that the projects in your portfolio would not have happened without the greenhouse gas offset market?
* Have your offsets been validated against a third-party standard by a credible source?
* Do you sell offsets that will actually accrue in the future? If so, how long into the future, and can you explain why you need to ‘forward sell’ the offsets?
* Can you demonstrate that your offsets are not sold to multiple buyers?
* What are you doing to educate your buyers about climate change and the need for climate change policy?
Finally, all Gold Standard projects have been independently verified by a third party to ensure integrity.
Carbon offsetting organisations currently meeting the Gold Standard;
(2). climate friendly
Thanks goes to the David Suzuki Foundation for the above information.