The 42 carbon credit projects are structured under the international Gold Standard (GS) accreditation system as projects that each save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emission per annum. They will be structured in terms of size and number of cook stoves, water points etc and will generate over 420,000 tonnes of carbon offset in total per annum.
The 420,000 tons of annual carbon offset from the Loan Programme projects will be traded on the Voluntary Carbon Market, primarily on the Gold Standard market which is the premier voluntary market for projects. Market demand for voluntary carbon credits comes from organisations and individuals who have taken an ethical decision to take responsibility for neutralising carbon emissions. This is unlike the compliance carbon markets which provide carbon credits for large emitters of carbon and is a huge market valued at billions of Euros annually. In the smaller voluntary market in 2014, the voluntary demand for carbon offsets grew 14% to 87 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The Gold Standard, initiated in 2003 by a group of NGOs, is currently supported by over 80 civil society groups around the globe. It is the most rigorous certification standard globally for carbon offset projects. Only projects which generate substantial social benefits on top of carbon emission reductions can be eligible for the Gold Standard. The Gold Standard ensures that energy efficiency and renewable energy projects actually reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It is supported by the United Nations and many national governments and corporations.
The price range in 2015 for Gold Standard voluntary carbon credits was €2.00 to €5.00. This price is higher than in other voluntary or compliance markets. The differential is based on the additional social impact that the credit provides above the CO2 emissions savings. A credit from a wind turbine project has low social impact and trades at the low end of the scale. A cook stove credit from Africa with very high social impact trades at a greater value.
CO2Balance has been chosen as the market partner for the Vita Green Impact Loan Programme. CO2Balance is a founding member of the UN-recognised International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), specialising in project development and accreditation services. CO2Balance has established itself as one of the leading global players in the voluntary carbon market while playing an instrumental part the Gold Standard’s Technical Advisory committee for several years. CO2Balance has traded millions of tons of carbon emission reductions and has provide voluntary emission reductions (VERs) to multinational companies such as Aviva , Sky, Toshiba and the BBC.