Atmosfair, a carbon project developer based in Germany, is aiming to certify all its new carbon offsetting projects under the Gold Standard Foundation rather than the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The move is in line with the Paris Agreement, which aims to strengthen emissions reductions and stop climate change. According to information from Carbon Pulse, Atmosfair will only use CDM credits for projects where there is a clear benefit to local sustainable development, but not for purely climate-centric projects. Speaking to Carbon Pulse, an Atmosfair spokesperson said: “The plans to cease using the CDM to certify our carbon offset projects altogether should be seen in this context of constantly evolving goals and an increasing urgency to do more to tackle climate change. The combination of official certification, quality claim and high environmental and social standards embodied by the Gold Standard enable us to further increase our impact.”
The CDM was established under the Kyoto Protocol to enable emissions-saving projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction credits, which could then be sold to help developed countries meet their emissions targets. However, there have been concerns over the CDM’s effectiveness and allegations of greenwashing. The Gold Standard Foundation, by contrast, aims to ensure that projects do not just reduce emissions, but also contribute to sustainable development goals.
Atmosfair has already certified 160 projects under the Gold Standard Foundation, which focus on areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and afforestation. The company has also established an offsetting program for the aviation industry, where passengers can voluntarily offset their air travel emissions.
Overall, the move by Atmosfair highlights the increasing importance of quality carbon offsetting schemes that align with the Paris Agreement goals. This is especially relevant for companies that rely on carbon offsetting to meet their own emissions targets, as they will need to ensure that their offsetting projects are both effective and credible.