UPDATED 15 January 2024

media release

Beyond National Commitments: Rwanda, atmosfair and Gold Standard Launch First Carbon Credit Aligned with Paris Article 6

15 Nov 2023
Geneva, Switzerland
Released by
Gold Standard

Gold Standard has today announced it has taken an important step in the implementation of the Paris Agreement by designating credits on its registry as authorised for use under Article 6. This follows the issuance of a Letter of Authorisation by the Government of Rwanda and marks the first time that credits issued to an independent standard have been publicly recognised to have an Article 6 authorisation.

In a first for the voluntary carbon market, Gold Standard has attached Paris Agreement Article 6 authorisation labels to carbon credits on its registry.

This new label will encourage private sector investment by ensuring voluntary action goes beyond national commitments, preventing double-claiming towards both corporate and country-level targets.

The credits have been issued to atmosfair for transformative clean cooking projects, with Rwanda agreeing to make ‘corresponding adjustments’ to prevent double counting of emission reductions under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

The Government of Rwanda has committed to apply a ‘corresponding adjustment’, meaning that these emission reductions will no longer count towards its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) obligations under the Paris Agreement.

This development follows a series of important milestones for the evolution of carbon finance in Africa, including the first bilateral Article 6 authorisation between Ghana and Switzerland, the introduction of new regulatory frameworks in multiple countries, and the pledging of hundreds of millions of dollars of carbon finance investment during the African Climate Summit this September. Governments worldwide are taking steps to introduce Article 6 authorisation processes as shown in Gold Standard’s recent report on Article 6 preparations, and it is expected that the number of authorised credits in the Gold Standard Registry will grow.

Margaret Kim, CEO of Gold Standard, said:

“With this milestone, we are seeing the first steps into a new era for carbon markets. Purchasers of credits now have the option to be more ambitious, supporting projects that are exceeding host country nationally determined contributions while delivering real impact for communities, households and livelihoods. We welcome the bold action taken by the Government of Rwanda, atmosfair and all those involved who helped to make this a reality.”

The development was welcomed by Nicole Wilke, Head of Division, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), Germany, who said:

“We appreciate the effort of Gold Standard to strive for alignment of the voluntary carbon market with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. By offering correspondingly adjusted credits that are authorized from host countries for international transfer, the private sector can help to raise global ambition through using them for voluntary cancellation.”

The atmosfair projects achieve emission reductions in Rwanda by replacing traditional stoves with highly efficient biomass-fired cookstoves. The cook stoves comply with the highest emission standards in Rwanda. They are made entirely of stainless steel, and have a guarantee of 10 years for their mostly female users. And they are fully produced in Rwanda, keeping the value added in the country.

Dr. Dietrich Brockhagen, CEO of atmosfair said:

“We have to raise ambition beyond the targets set by the countries themselves if we are going to achieve the Paris climate goals. The combination of our highly efficient cook stoves and the agreement with the government of Rwanda do just that. We are therefore delighted to announce this important milestone with our Rwandan partners, Safer Rwanda, Safer 1 Ltd, Rwanda Women Network and UNHCR, with whom we have impacted livelihoods for the past 10 years. Paris aligned carbon certificates now offer a tangible premium to buying companies who want to commit to more than just offsetting.”

Florian Eickhold advisor to atmosfair added:

“Authorised carbon units backed up by corresponding adjustments are a new high-quality product in the voluntary carbon market. The new international carbon market framework of the Paris Agreement Article 6.4 offers two types of units. Those with authorization and corresponding adjustments, and mitigation contribution units. Unfortunately, it will take some time for the 6.4 Mechanism to be fully operational. This makes it even more important that Gold Standard is offering the option of incorporating this very important aspect of Host Party authorisation in the registry. Companies and investors have been looking for these new units and they are now starting to become available.”

Bernardin Alvin Bavuge, Designated National Authority of Rwanda for the Article 6.4 Mechanism at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) said at the opening of the SAVE80 factory on Kigali this year:

“…REMA is grateful for the efforts of Safer Rwanda and Safer 1 Ltd in partnership with atmosfair. REMA, and of course the beneficiaries, are thankful for the contribution of Safer Rwanda and all partners, in particular the investments of 8.6 billion RWF for the distribution of Save 80 stoves to Rwandan households, especially in the hilly areas. REMA is also grateful for the setup of this factory and the 300 jobs created….”

For those interested in finding out more, Gold Standard and partners will be holding a webinar to explain this development in more detail at 14:00 CET on Tuesday 16 January 2024. 

About atmosfair

atmosfair is a German non-profit organization that actively contributes to CO₂ mitigation by promoting, developing and financing renewable energies in over 20 countries worldwide. We rely exclusively on voluntary climate payments from private individuals and businesses. Aiming to decarbonize the world economy, we designed our software tools and consulting services to assist businesses in executing their climate policies, with a particular focus on business travel.

Our work ethic is based on the following principle: only compensate what can’t be avoided or reduced. This approach constitutes the foundation for all our partnerships, ensuring not only climate integrity but also cost efficiency.

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