Fair and equitable carbon finance for vulnerable communities
Given the scale of the climate challenge, demand by companies for voluntarily compensating (or “offsetting”) their CO2 emissions through the purchase of carbon credits is soaring. This is happening in particular for ‘high-value’ carbon credits that deliver positive impact for people and nature, as a well as climate.
This booming Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) represents a unique opportunity not only to create environmental benefits, but also to generate income for populations whose livelihoods and ecosystems are threatened by climate change. Enabling communities to develop carbon-credit projects and sell the related carbon credits unlocks finance and technologies that protect their natural ecosystems, whilst revenues can be reinvested into community and sustainable development initiatives.
However, lack of expertise and resources, and the high entry barriers to the VCM, prevent many communities from seizing these opportunities.
The Plan Vivo Foundation (Plan Vivo) champions an inclusive, fair and sustainable approach to carbon offsetting, where communities directly and transparently benefit from access to climate finance. With over two decades of experience in smart climate action to the benefit of smallholders worldwide, Plan Vivo puts climate vulnerable communities at the forefront of designing and implementing carbon finance projects. It also ensures that projects come with social, economic, biodiversity and governance benefits – additionalities becoming duly prioritised within the VCM.
The Trafigura Foundation helps Plan Vivo pilot solutions to bring down the barriers limiting community participation in and remuneration through carbon finance.
Monitoring is critical to ensure project transparency and accountability yet can represent up to one third of total project costs. Concretely, Plan Vivo will develop standardised monitoring methodologies and tools that are appropriate, accessible, and cost-efficient for community stakeholders.
Plan Vivo will also work towards boosting the expertise available in the Global South to “validate and verify” carbon emission reduction projects, a mandatory certification step to access the VCM, ensuring that carbon benefits are real, additional and verifiable. Currently, this expertise is mostly located in the Global North and comes with a heavy price (and travel-related CO2 tag).
Additionally, our partnership will provide the up-front resources needed to help Plan Vivo establish a ‘Project Incubator Hub’ for nascent projects. Such a support system will create an enhanced environment for new projects to transition to the VCM.
The Trafigura Foundation is extremely pleased to start a partnership with Plan Vivo and support its vision aiming at harnessing the possibilities opened by the VCM to the benefit of vulnerable communities.
Photo credit: Plan Vivo, Mikoko Pamoja Project in Kenya