The voluntary carbon market has played a significant role in delivering climate action at scale. Yet post-2020, a significant share of voluntary carbon projects will be hosted in countries that have pledged targets under the Paris Agreement. This presents the possibility that the emission reductions from such projects may be ‘double counted’ – accounted in national pledges to mitigate climate change and then also counted in purchases made by individuals or corporates to ‘offset’ their GHG emissions. As such, it will become increasingly difficult to source double-counting ‘risk-free’ credits to fulfil voluntary carbon neutrality commitments.
With support from European Climate & Energy Policy and New Market Mechanisms, German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB), Gold Standard is now working with partners to 'future proof' the voluntary carbon market in context of the new Paris Agreement to ensure voluntary carbon credits are not 'double counted.'
This programme focused on 1) a comprehensive assessment of Gold Standard projects' double counting risk against host country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and 2) creating solutions to provide continuity for finance to flow to voluntary projects around the world.
We are pleased to now share the following:
1. A DRAFT Double Counting Risk Assessment Tool that allows individual projects to assess their double counting risk - for stakeholder comment (final tool to be published before 22nd May 2018, coinciding with Innovate4Climate)
2. Guidelines to assist project developers in using the Double Counting Risk Assessment Tool
3. A final report on the programme activities and recommendations
The tool and guidelines are intended for use by Project Developers to assess if and where under an NDC double counting could potentially occur. It is not a Requirement of Gold Standard to apply this tool though future iterations may become part of the Standard in due course, as solutions are developed.
Project Developers applying the tool are encouraged to share their results with Gold Standard to further build the picture of the issues at hand and to inform solutions. Results may be shared publicly unless requested otherwise.