Pioneering Methodology for Tackling Black Carbon


GENEVA, 31 March 2015 – The Gold Standard, experts in climate and development, have launched a pioneering methodology for quantifying and monitoring emissions from black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants, in an effort to drive finance into projects that provide an immediate and measurable impact on mitigating climate change at a local level.

Black carbon, seen as soot, is the unwanted byproduct of burning diesel, coal, firewood, or crop residue. It is categorised as a ‘short-lived’ climate pollutant but 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.

This methodology has been developed 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 (UCSD), 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 within the scientific and development finance communities. It quantifies the emissions of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants when wood, charcoal, animal dung or coal, are burned for cooking. The methodology also measures the reductions of these harmful emissions when improved cookstove technologies or clean burning fuels are introduced.

The challenge for implementing clean cookstoves at scale lies in finance, as the technologies are often unaffordable to families in the developing world. This first-of-its-kind methodology provides a verified outcome that can be used in a ‘results-based finance’ funding scheme to drive investment into these much needed climate and development initiatives—delivering immediate climate change mitigation whilst improving health and livelihoods for local communities.

Project Surya Director, Professor V. Ramanathan of UCSD, says: “Urgent actions are required to slow down climate change in the near term. Rapidly scaling up the use of less polluting cookstoves will not only slow down the melting of Himalayan glaciers but will also save millions of lives during the coming decades. Financing less polluting cookstoves is one of the few win-win potions for the planet. Surya is proud to have played a lead role in this effort.”

“This new black carbon methodology will help unlock the necessary finance required to implement these important and life-changing projects,” states Marion Verles, CEO of The Gold Standard Foundation. “Being able to quantify black carbon emission reductions from cookstove projects represents an important step towards demonstrating the immediate effect on mitigating climate change, delivering long-term sustainable development and the certification of broader development impacts.”

“Innovative financing mechanisms are critical to scaling up the adoption of cleaner and more efficient technologies by the five hundred million households globally that cook using open fires or inefficient stoves”, says Radha Muthiah, CEO of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “This new methodology will help drive more funding towards implementing clean cooking solutions that will save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment.“

“By controlling both short-lived climate pollutants and long-lived greenhouse gases we can increase the chances of limiting our global temperature rise to below 2° C, while also supporting sustainable development around the world” says Nexleaf Analytics President, Nithya Ramanathan.

For more information, learn about our work Generating a Clean Energy Future and read Ecosystem Marketplace’s coverage on black carbon: Emerging From The Darkness: New Process Aims To Tackle Black Carbon

For further information please contact:
Claire Willers
Marketing & Communications, The Gold Standard Foundation, Geneva
Email: claire.willers@goldstandard.org
Tel: +41 78 947 74 94

For full press release:
Pioneering methodology for tackling black carbon [PDF]

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