Comparing Forestation Voluntary Carbon Offset Certification Standards

With voluntary carbon offset credit markets growing and the topic firmly fixed and on the agenda of the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism’s executive board forestry scientists and researchers, climatologists and natural resource economists around the world are zooming in on, gathering data and analyzing existing forestation carbon offset projects in order to better understand them and anticipate their overall effects, effectiveness and sustainability.

A new report authored by Eduard Merger and Alwyn Williams, two researchers at the University of Canterbury´s School of Forestry in Christchurch, New Zealand, sheds light on the nature and workings of four standards for certifying climate forestation projects and the criteria necessary to qualify for accreditation in voluntary carbon offset markets.

Entitled, “Comparison of Carbon Offset Standards for Climate Forestation Projects participating in the Voluntary Carbon Market,” and released May 28, the study investigates and compares standards and certification processes of the Community, Climate, and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS), the Carbon Fix Standard (CFS), Plan Vivo Systems and Standard, and AFOLU Voluntary Carbon Standard.

One of the researchers’ principal aims is to assist buyers of voluntary carbon offset credits determine the creditworthiness of projects sponsored by the four standards setting bodies.

Issues such as transparency, assurance of permanence, environmental and socio-economic co-benefits, additionality, and carbon dioxide calcuations are thoroughly examined and compared, according to the researchers.

A copy of the report can be downloaded by following this link: http://www.fore.canterbury.ac.nz/research/

Andrew Burger

Cadiz, Spain

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