Pioneering Method for Tackling Black Carbon
A Climate Factor Responsible for 20% of Global Warming
In collaboration with Project Surya, The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Nexleaf Analytics and the University of California at San Diego, with funding from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) as part of the Reducing SLCPs from Household Cooking and Domestic Heating initiative and with extensive input from experts from the scientific and development finance communities, we have developed a methodology for quantifying and monitoring emissions reductions and associated climate impacts from black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants. The goal is to drive finance into projects that provide an immediate and measurable impact on mitigating climate change at a local level.
WHY FOCUS ON SHORT-LIVED CLIMATE POLLUTANTS, LIKE BLACK CARBON?
Black carbon and other co-emitted species are a byproduct of burning diesel, coal, firewood, and crop residue. Categorised as a ‘short-lived’ climate pollutant, its negative impacts are both fast-acting and extensive. Black carbon increases the melting of ice and glaciers, harms public health, reduces food security and disrupts weather patterns. With the reduction of carbon dioxide taking a priority under the Kyoto Protocol, mitigating short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, have taken a back seat with many organisations and governments. However, recent studies show that black carbon may be responsible for close to 20% of the planet’s warming, making it the second highest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. This provides us with a real opportunity to make an immediate impact on climate change.
WHAT IS THE METHODOLOGY?
This methodology provides a tool to quantify and monitor emissions reductions of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants achieved by projects focused on improved cookstove technologies or clean burning fuels. The methodology also quantifies the climate impacts of these emissions reductions, in the near term and at the local level.
HOW IS IT APPLIED?
The Black Carbon Quantification Methodology is an annex to the methodology titled ‘Technologies and practices to displace decentralized thermal energy consumption’ (TPDDTEC) and must be used in conjunction with our existing rules and requirements.
WHAT CAN A PROJECT CLAIM?
A project is able to claim both Black Carbon Equivalent (BCe) Emission Reductions alongside Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). However, Black Carbon Emission Reductions are not equivalent to and cannot be substituted with or for VERs. Furthermore, no additional VERs will be issued through the implementation of this Black Carbon quantification methodology.
WHAT IS THE OUTCOME?
The black carbon methodology provides a verified outcome in the form of a ‘certified outcome statement’. This statement will confirm the quantity of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants reduced in a given year. The statement provides evidence of the outcome and can be used in a ‘results-based finance’ funding scheme to drive investment into these much-needed climate and development initiatives. The ‘certified outcome statement’ cannot be used for offsetting purposes and no claims should be made in this regard.
WHO CAN AUDIT THIS NEW METHODOLOGY?
Reductions in black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants can be audited by any organization eligible to review projects using our TPDDTEC methodology. The certification of black carbon will take place at the same time as VER issuance.
Full guidance for this new methodology and how it can be applied to existing and new projects will be provided over the next few weeks.
WHERE ARE WE GOING NEXT?
Gold Standard has been considering the role of black carbon for many years. However, this is a new area for us, and one that we are still developing. We therefore intend to undertake regular reviews of this methodology and would welcome any feedback or comments on an ongoing basis.
We are also planning to further explore this market and the opportunities it may provide both in terms of quantifying specific impacts of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants and developing new mechanisms and/or products. We can’t do this alone, so would welcome any insights, feedback or opportunities for collaboration. If this is something of interest, please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about our work with black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants, please visit:
- Associated Press: Push for cleaner stoves in poor countries to cut pollution
- Ecosystem Marketplace: Emerging from the darkness – new process aims to tackle black carbon
- Marketing Green Blog: Innovative black carbon certificates fuel traditional cookstove replacement
- Press release: Pioneering methodology for tackling black carbon
- The process behind developing our new black carbon methodology
- Our public consultations page, which outlines the input and feedback received from our two public consultations on black carbon & other SLCPs.
For more information generally about black carbon and its effects, please visit: the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) website