As per internal Standard Operating Procedures, Gold Standard Secretariat regularly conducts quality assurance and control (QA/QC). In the spring of 2020, Gold Standard conducted QA/QC for Safe Water Supply projects. The Secretariat identified a risk of potential over-estimation of emission reductions and therefore risk of over-issuance of credits and raised this to a working group of our independent Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) as the risk was material.
Following review and deliberation, the TAC working group initiated a grievance, mandating: 1) an independent investigation of the Safe Water Supply methodology and how it is being applied by projects, and 2) a temporary limit on emission reductions credits (VERs) from Safe Water Supply projects until the investigation is complete and recommendations are implemented, to avoid potential over-issuance. The interim limit on emission reductions is based on two parameters:
- Firewood consumption to boil 1 litre of water for 10 minutes will be capped at 0.400 kg for three stone firewood baseline stove scenarios. For other baseline fuels, projects will be assessed on case-by-case basis. AND
- For borehole projects, the number of users per borehole will be capped based on specifications from the borehole technology supplier/manufacturer.
The investigation will be overseen by a qualified TAC sub-committee comprised of members having no conflict of interest. This TAC sub-committee has appointed an independent, qualified expert, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group to lead the investigation. The final Terms of Reference for the investigation are posted in the supporting documents below. To ensure independence, Gold Standard Secretariat will not take part in the investigation itself but will support TAC with administrative support.
This grievance process intends to prevent over-issuance. It is initiated as part of Gold Standard’s commitment to environmental integrity, good governance, and transparency to reach appropriate and fair resolutions. The outcomes of the process will inform measures to resolve and remediate any issues that the investigation confirms.
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