An untouched stand of trees in Oregon – as in our compliance market example above – generates one big benefit – the carbon sequestered in the living trees themselves. However, voluntary development projects may offer other social or environmental benefits in addition to lowering GHG emissions, such as poverty reduction, habitat preservation, and increases to local living standards.
These are all benefits that support U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, so a company able to tout participation in programs with co-benefits scores valuable PR wins for its shareholders.
For example, one of Bluesource’s founders helped start a venture named the Paradigm Project to subsidize highly efficient wood-burning stoves and easy to use water filtration units to rural families in Kenya. In Kenya, as is true for other less developed rural areas, a lot of deforestation is brought about by families cutting wood to boil water and cook.
Through projects developed by the Paradigm Project, organizations are able to invest in carbon credits generated by verified emission reductions from rural households’ reduced burning of wood for fuel.
Proceeds from the sale of those carbon credits are ploughed into to the operations of a company that employs local people to build stoves and filters and distributes these products to their rural neighbors. The filters help cut the amount of firewood needed for boiling water and the stoves are much more efficient at converting wood fuel into usable energy.
This article highlights the virtuous circle argument for carbon credits when low emitting companies voluntarily redeploy money devoted to public good to socially acceptable carbon offset strategies.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top