The Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) Alliance, an initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), published a high-level guide for decision makers in choosing high-quality carbon credits. The guide aims to drive demand for nature based (or NCS) carbon credits and mobilise companies to mitigate their emissions beyond their value chains.
The guide covers:

  • The business case for utilizing nature based (or NCS) carbon credits
  • The critical role nature based credits, including REDD+ credits, can play in beyond value chain mitigation before achieving net zero and neutralizing residual emissions once net zero is achieved.
  • The importance of investing in quality
  • The Immediate actions that C-Suite Executives can take, illustrated with case studies (Unilever, Netflix etc)

https://www.wbcsd.org/contentwbc/download/14832/210827/1

A recent publication in the Guardian(18-01-’23) criticizes the Verra standard throughwhich the majority of the world’s REDD+ credits are issued. Verra is accussed of greatly overestimating the carbon reduction their credits represent. In a response Verra claims that the methods of the studies used by the critics are notrepresentative for the realized results on the ground.

RBI’s position is that the studies used by The Guardian do not jusitify their far reaching claims and further scientific analysis is needed. Neverthless we feel that a thorough scrutiny of the methods used by Verra and other certifiers is very important. This will help to improve the integrity, transparancy and accountablity of the market. But we shouldn’t let scepticism overtake justified criticism aimed at scaling up themuch needed  forest conservation in the tropics via the Voluntary Carbon Market.

Our position is very well reflected in the open letter of Sylvera, subscribed by RBI and almost 50 other organizations representing a mix of developers, ratings platforms, NGOs, marketplaces, intermediaries, and industry bodies.

Benchmark nature-based carbon prices fell by the largest amount in years early december as traders rushed to exit positions before the end of the year amid lower demand, sovereign credit issuances and a disappointing outcome at COP27. The fall came after weeks of prices trending lower, effectively wiping out all the gains seen in the past 18 months on the back of increased investments in the voluntary carbon market. Despite this relapse, the long term outlook is expected to be still one of strong growth, In a study earlier this year Ernst and Young stated that, with demand growing and supply shrinking, credit prices on the voluntary market are set to rise to 80-150 US dollar by 2035 in all scenario’s.

https://www.qcintel.com/carbon/article/nature-based-prices-fall-most-in-years-as-panic-takes-hold-10356.html
https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_au/topics/sustainability/ey-net-zero-centre-carbon-offset-publication-20220530.pdf

The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) has issued the world’s first High-Forest, Low Deforestation (HFLD) credits to Guyana. Following completion of an independent validation and verification process, ART has issued 33.47 million TREES credits to Guyana for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. These serialized credits, listed on ART’s public registry, are available to buyers on the global carbon market, including for use by airlines for compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global emission reduction program, CORSIA, as well as for use toward voluntary corporate climate commitments.

Among the first buyers of Guyana’s credits is the US-owned Hess Corporation which entered a deal with Guyana to purchase 37.5 million REDD+ jurisdictional carbon credits (current and future issuances) worth $750 million. Hess is a major partner with ExxonMobil and CNOOC of China in Guyana’s offshore project, the “Stabroek Block”. It’s one of the world’s largest oil and gas discoveries near Suriname’s border. This shows that while the transaction is good news for the conservation and sustainable use of Guyana’s rainforest, the integrity of the transaction is questionable from the point of view of overall emission reduction.

The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) is a global initiative that seeks to incentivize governments to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), as well as restore forests and protect intact forests (+). ART is a standalone program independent of governments or donor countries. ART’s mission is to serve as a global quality benchmark for jurisdictional REDD+, providing the confidence needed in the integrity of emission reductions and removals from forest protection and restoration to unlock finance at scale for ambitious climate action and to incentivize governments to achieve those results.

ART’s standard for measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification is called TREES Standard. ART claims that this standard is fully aligned with requirements in the Paris Agreement and incorporates market elements that enhance confidence in results. This allowsfor TREES credits to be fungible with credits from other sectors and to attract finance at the scale needed to protect and restore forests globally.

All TREES Credits are serialized and labelled as emission reductions, removals, or High-Forest, Low Deforestation (HFLD) credits. TREES Credits that are authorized by host countries for international transfer and TREES Credits that have Corresponding Adjustments are also labelled in the ART Registry. The ART Registry includes public reports of TREES Credit status, including issuance, retirements and cancellations.

Home – ART Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (artredd.org)

TREES – ART Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (artredd.org)

We are glad to announce that Nanno Kleiterp has agreed to become RBI’s new Ambassador. Nanno has an impressive track record in promoting sustainable development, especially in the field of development banking. Nanno served on the Management Board of the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) for 21 years, first as CFO and from 2008 to 2016 as CEO.

Today Nanno is, among others, Honorary Chair of the European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI), the association of 15 European development banks. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the &Green Fund and Chairman of the Board of ILX, the managing body of the ILX Fund. Nanno is also senior fellow of the World Resources Institute, a global research institute that focuses on critical issues at the intersection of environment and development.

The Tambopata-Bahuaja Biodiversity Reserve Project is RBI’s main Flagship project. It is part of the Ecosphere+ portfolio, implemented by their local project partner, Peruvian NGO AIDER.

Ecosphere+ reports the following impacts of the project (December ’22):

  • Avoided 4.7 million tonnes of CO2, of which almost 50% realized by purchases of RBI members
  • Worked to protect 573,299 hectares of threatened Amazon rainforest
  • Conserved habitat for 30 unique and threatened species, including the giant river otter, jaguar and giant armadillo
  • Created or supported 460 jobs, 30% of which are held by women
  • Developed the COOPASER cooperative, a farmer–driven association that provides technical assistance, infrastructure for post-harvest management, quality control, and a route-to-market for local farmers
  • Supported local enterprises, such as a new female artisans association and the growth of a sustainable Brazil nut economy
  • Contributed EUR 4.8 million to the local economy

The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) has issued the world’s first High-Forest, Low Deforestation (HFLD) credits to Guyana. Following completion of an independent validation and verification process and approval by the ART Board of Directors, ART has issued 33.47 million TREES credits to Guyana for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. These serialized credits, listed on ART’s public registry, are available to buyers on theglobal carbon market, including for use by airlines for compliance with the International CivilAviation Organization’s global emission reduction program, CORSIA, as well as for usetoward voluntary corporate climate commitments . 
 
Among the first buyers of Guyana’s credits is the US-owned Hess Corporation which entereda deal with Guyana to purchase 37.5 million REDD+ jurisdictional carbon credits (currentand future issuances) worth $750 million. Hess is a major partner with ExxonMobil andCNOOC of China in Guyana’s offshore project, the “Stabroek Block”. It’s one of the world’slargest oil and gas discoveries near Suriname’s border. This shows that while the transaction is good news for the conservation and sustainable use of Guyana’s rainforest, the integrity of the transaction is questionable from the point of view of overall emission reduction.

ClimatePartner daily works on embedding climate action into corporate activity. They calculate and reduce carbon emissions and offset unabated emissions. The carbon neutral label of ClimatePartner guarantees transparency and credibility. It includes tracking of reduction measures in carbon offset projects, as well as tracking of the amount of CO2 compensated by clients via a specific ID number. As a leading solutions provider for climate action, ClimatePartner combines individual consulting with a cloud-based software that is unique to the market.

Robert Viertelhauzen: “We are proud to join RBI as ClimatePartner and add value to RBI’s mission and vision. We strongly believe that working together, sharing knowledge and creating impact is the only way to climate action.”

Michel Schuurman, Chair of RBI: “We are delighted that ClimatePartner has joined the RBI network. It is a well known brand in the market with a broad portfolio of projects, including REDD+ projects, which is essential for what we want to achieve.”

Meer informatie: Website ClimatePartner

RBI has published a position paper on what it considers as credible CO2 compensation. The paper explains that voluntary compensation by companies is only credible if it is a supplement to serious measures to achieve emission reduction within the company and its supply chain and not a replacement thereof. It is concluded that the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) offers a valuable instrument to set credible emission reduction targets. We support the view of the SBTi that carbon credits may only to be considered as an option for neutralizing residual emissions beyond the science-based emission reduction targets.

RBI welcomes the input from McKinsey[1] and the Taskforce on Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market (TSVCM)[2] who call for an ambitious path towards Net-Zero, in which the residual emissions are compensated/neutralized within any given year.  That allows companies to make carbon neutral claims on the way to Net-Zero without being vulnerable to accusations of greenwashing. And it makes the path to net zero much more ambitious and effective from a societal point of view. Especially when the phasing out of the use of avoidance credits is the result of halting deforestation, instead of a goal in itself.

[1] Putting carbon markets to work on the path to net zero
[2] High Ambition Path to Net Zero