UPDATED 29 January 2024

media release

Gold Standard and Costa Rica partner to safeguard integrity in the voluntary carbon market

12 Oct 2021
Geneva, Switzerland - San José, Costa Rica
Released by
Gold Standard
  • media contact Sarah Leugers, Chief Growth Officer

For the first time, a national government and an international climate standard collaborate to ensure claims around carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality can be made responsibly under the Paris Agreement.

As Net Zero pledges proliferate and demand for carbon credits grows, Gold Standard and Costa Rica announce that they will partner to develop best practices for processes to ensure the integrity of voluntary carbon offsetting claims.

With a changing policy landscape under the Paris Climate Agreement, new requirements are needed to ensure “carbon offsetting” “climate neutral” or even emerging claims like “carbon negative” are credible and deliver on their promise that carbon offsetting will not ultimately cause damage to the atmosphere but rather enable increased mitigation ambition.

“Corresponding adjustments” are one such provision. They ensure that a credit used towards a voluntary offset claim by a business or individual is not also claimed by the government hosting the carbon offset project or any other party or organization, which over a longer term could result in an increase rather than a reduction of emissions.

Through this partnership, Gold Standard and the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica will explore how corresponding adjustments can be operationalised for voluntary carbon offsetting, in a way that ensures rigour, clarity and credibility and represents a high-integrity application of Article 6 rules currently under negotiation.

Beyond integrity, the partners will focus on issues of fairness and access for all stakeholders, protection of human rights, particularly those of indigenous people and local communities, and the promotion sustainable development amidst a just transition to a low carbon future.

Gold Standard Chief Executive Margaret Kim says, “Without trust, markets can’t function. As the voluntary carbon market now seeks to scale as a climate solution, we have to ensure not only that carbon credits represent real, independently verified climate impact, but also that investors, consumers, and the general public can believe in the claims that companies make. We have great respect for Costa Rica’s efforts to raise ambition in carbon markets, including as the driving force behind the San Jose Principles, and are delighted to enter into this partnership.”

Costa Rican Minister for Environment and Energy Andrea Meza Murillo says “We can not afford the luxury of wasting time or resources on schemes that fail to live up to the moment. Carbon markets, whether under the UNFCCC or otherwise must be implemented focused on environmental integrity, on the protection of Human Rights, particularly of Indigenous Peoples and other local stakeholders, on robust accounting on the basis of corresponding adjustments, and on ensuring a just transition to an adapted, resilient and decarbonized world.”

Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía

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