Why Buy Carbon Credits?
And why now?
Most businesses, as most people, would like to make a positive impact on the world. Most also prefer that it’s as easy as possible to do so. Supporting climate protection projects by purchasing Verified Emission Reductions (also known as carbon credits or tons of CO2) from Gold Standard has a return on investment that is difficult to beat. At its core, a carbon credit represents a direct investment in the transition to a low-carbon economy. By purchasing carbon credits, you help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, working to keep the planet at a stable climate for all of us (and our children, and their children…). But just as importantly, you support vulnerable communities around the world in ways that can be life-changing: empowering women and girls, providing new local jobs, improving health, boosting crop yields, protecting biodiversity – just to name a few.
It’s simple. It’s certain. And it delivers greater impact than your average good deed or CSR play. Let’s break this down.
- Simplicity: Whether you’re a business or even an individual conscious of your environmental impact, purchasing Gold Standard Verified Emissions Reductions is easy. In particular, smaller businesses that don’t have the time or resources to invest in more complex commitments like Science Based Targets can quickly and easily support the positive climate and development impacts that Gold Standard projects deliver. Support a project now>>
- Certainty: Gold Standard provides assurance that emissions reductions—and the benefits to local communities—are verified, and you pay for those outcomes. This ‘results-based’ approach doesn’t leave you hoping that your money accomplished the good you intended. We also go a step further. Gold Standard ensures safeguards and sustainable development benefits as requirements in every project we certify, where other standards feature these critical dimensions only as optional.
- Amplified impact: You pay for one ton of CO2, but projects deliver all the extra benefits at the same time. Gold Standard commissioned an independent consulting firm to quantify this “return on investment” in a report. The benefits above and beyond the climate impact per every one ton of CO2 are summarised below through a variety of project types. See the full report>>
So purchasing Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions is a simple, certain, and high-impact way to support the transition to a low-carbon world. But why now?
- Acting sooner is more valuable. It’s clear that we need to move quickly on climate change. You could have an anxiety attack if you consider how we’re burning through our carbon budget to avoid surpassing 2 degrees warming. (see trillionthtonne.org/ and be sure to remain seated.) The good news is that scientific evidence shows us that the sooner we take action, the better chance to slow down climate change, drive a clean energy transition, and help communities become resilient to its impacts.
- Pressure to take climate action is increasing. If you represent a business, it’s time to take notice. Thought leaders are aligning on best practice in the space (refer to our Guidelines for Corporate Climate Stewardship, published with CDP and WWF). Just as setting Science Based Targets for reducing corporate emissions is becoming standard business practice for sustainability-minded companies, internalizing the full costs of a GHG footprint, that is, taking full accountability for your climate impacts, will soon follow suit. The opportunity to take a leadership position still exists, but those who don’t will be playing catch up.
- Prices are low. At the time of publication, supply of carbon credits for voluntary action exceeds demand. With the Paris Agreement coming into force and greater pressure on companies to take accountability for their climate impacts, new buyers are entering the market every day. Expanding coverage of carbon pricing programs around the world plus increasing awareness of the value-add in terms of sustainable development mean that prices won’t stay at these record lows.
It’s important to remember that buying carbon credits shouldn’t be the limit of your climate action. Every person and company should look to phase out carbon emissions from their lifestyle or business. Yet with high-impact carbon credits, you have the rare opportunity to make a positive difference at both the global and local level. And one of the even rarer times in life when you face the “Cheap, Good, or Quick” triangle and can pick all three. So what are you waiting for?
What is a carbon credit worth?
Why carbon credits vary in price
Offsetting: Success in projects, a failure of communications
Corporate Climate Stewardship Guidelines published by Gold Standard, CDP and WWF
The role of voluntary offsetting in a post-Paris world