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To meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below 2°C and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate action cannot be one-dimensional. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must also help the world develop on a sustainable pathway – providing access to clean energy and water, good health and nutrition, secure livelihoods, and thriving ecosystems. This means that climate and development interventions must be holistic and high-impact, allowing every dollar invested to deliver as much as possible. 

Gold Standard for the Global Goals is a next-generation standard designed to accelerate progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, allowing a broad range of projects and programmes to quantify, certify, and maximise their impacts.

Quantifying impacts is complicated, but necessary if we are to successfully catalyse more ambitious action. We work in collaboration with our strategic partners, supporters and market experts to continually deliver strategic initiatives that support the development, deployment and scaling of our project impacts. If you’re interested in corporate climate leadership, improving the climate impact of your value chains or future-proofing the voluntary carbon markets, see how you can get involved in our initiatives>>

The standard maximises the positive impacts – and associated value – of assets in carbon markets and renewable energy markets to ensure environmental integrity and contributions to sustainable development.

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Environmental markets

Certified impacts toward the Sustainable Development Goals allow for innovative pay-for-performance financing structures for development agencies, foundations, and other donors. 

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Results-based finance for development

Using Gold Standard for the Global Goals for sustainable supply chain programmes enables credible, third-party verified claims for Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, while also capturing additional SDG impacts for reporting.

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Corporate climate and SDG reporting

To support urgently-needed scaling up of climate and development action, the standard provides practical applications for sustainable urban development and infrastructure as well as fund-level certification and landscape approaches.

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Large-scale climate and development

Gold Standard for the Global Goals is tailored to provide the right safeguards, requirements and methodologies to measure and verify the impact that a project and its funders seek to deliver. From emission reductions to renewable energy labels to gender equality to improved health. Learn more about how our standard can be applied and the certified SDG impacts it delivers>>


Currently we have over 1400+ projects in over 80 countries seeking Gold Standard certification, creating billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide. Learn more about our different types of projects and how you can support these endeavours here>>

Who benefits from the standard

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Many participants in the transition to a more climate secure and sustainable world can use the standard to maximise their impact. Click to explore.

Investors funding ‘green’ or development-focused projects

National, regional and city governments, impact investors, and traditional investors can use the standard to:

  • De-risk their investments as a result of the standard’s financial, social and environmental safeguards and stakeholder engagement
  • Maximise return on investment: Gold Standard projects have historically been shown to deliver between $21 and $177 in additional value toward the SDGs for every tonne of CO2 mitigated.
  • Generate accurate, credible impact data through robust quantification methodologies and third-party verification of results
  • Develop innovative financing structures such as impacts bonds and green bonds
Corporates seeking credible claims for their sustainability initiatives
All companies want to avoid being accused of overclaiming or ‘greenwashing’ in their reporting and communications. Gold Standard is working with and endorsed by leading NGOs and experts, meaning companies can be confident that their programmes – from offsetting and climate finance strategies to sustainable supply chain interventions – follow best practice and that associated metrics and claims are verified by independent third parties. Beyond the data, the development impacts from Gold Standard projects provide more compelling narratives to communicate to stakeholders.
Developers of climate and development projects

The robust nature and civil society endorsement of the standard can make projects more attractive to investors because they are positioned to maximise the impact profile of an investment and effectively manage any risks along the way. On top of this, development agencies are speaking the SDG language. Investors are looking for strong, low-risk projects that can quantify positive environmental and social impact. Corporates are increasingly aligning their sustainability strategies to the Global Goals and are looking for credible ways to report on their contributions.

The possibility to credibly quantify and certify SDG impacts makes Gold Standard projects more attractive to a wide range of funders, including buyers of carbon credits, but also those with commitments to impacts like health, gender, biodiversity, and more.

National and sub-national governments that want to ensure climate action benefits their own constituents
By demonstrating that climate action also contributes to local development priorities, governments that host Gold Standard projects can gain local stakeholder support for their climate commitments. By providing a range of improvements in quality of life – from access to clean energy and water, reduced air pollution, improved transport, less waste, and cost savings – efforts to meet the Paris Agreement can actually be popular with constituents.

Why a standard?

The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals have defined where we need to go as a global community. Standards show the best way to get there – to ensure the necessary results to make the transition to a climate-secure, sustainable world.

  • Trust: Standards are the building blocks of markets. They give funders the confidence to know their dollars will accomplish what they’re meant to.
  • Progress: When it comes to the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, failure is not an option. Standards allow us to produce credible and comparable data to answer the questions: What is our progress? Are we on track to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Scale: With common language, metrics, and processes, we can move from isolated projects to integrated collective action to take solutions to the scale needed for these ambitious global agendas. 
We are delighted to be working with ClimateCare and EcoAct, strategic partners in the implementation of our new standard.