The voluntary carbon market is currently valued at $2 billion and involves carbon credit certifiers such as Verra, Gold Standard, and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards. Carbon credits are purchased by companies and individuals who want to offset their own carbon emissions, with the money going towards funding projects that reduce emissions elsewhere. These projects can include reforestation, building renewable energy infrastructure, and supporting sustainable agriculture.
Verra is one of the leading certifiers in the voluntary carbon market and has developed a rigorous certification process to ensure that projects meet high standards of environmental and social impact. Projects must demonstrate that they are reducing emissions in a way that is additional to what would have happened without the carbon financing, and that they are providing benefits to local communities and ecosystems.
Gold Standard is another leading certifier that has a focus on sustainable development in addition to emissions reductions. Projects certified by Gold Standard must demonstrate that they are achieving social and environmental co-benefits, such as improving access to clean water or supporting women’s empowerment.
The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards focus on projects that have positive impacts on both the environment and local communities. Projects certified under these standards must demonstrate that they are protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services, while also improving the livelihoods and well-being of local people.
The voluntary carbon market has grown significantly in recent years as more companies and individuals seek to take action on climate change. However, there are also concerns about the effectiveness of some projects and the potential for fraudulent activity. To address these issues, certifiers are continually refining their standards and monitoring the projects they certify to ensure that they are delivering real emissions reductions and positive impacts for communities and ecosystems.