Partnership Aims to Boost Carbon Market Transparency

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Nature Conservancy
Image courtesy of https://www.nature.org/

In recent months, the legitimacy of REDD+ carbon credits has been called into question, unsettling the carbon market and sparking vital discussions about how to measure the impacts of projects that aim to reduce deforestation and associated carbon pollution to benefit the climate.

Ensuring strong scientific foundations and continuous improvement is crucial for carbon markets. To this end, The Nature Conservancy, TerraCarbon, and partners are initiating a scientific collaboration to assess and compare REDD+ impact measurement methods.

Carbon project developers need to set a "baseline" to evaluate the impact of forest protection. The baseline model estimates the deforestation that would have occurred without the carbon project and affects the number of carbon credits given to the project.

Recently, The Guardian reported that the Verra REDD+ baseline reference region approach has led to inflated climate impacts and carbon credits that don't benefit the climate. Verra has been working on a new nested jurisdictional baseline approach for REDD+, set to be released in Q3 of 2023. Commentaries on these different approaches have been insightful, but a systematic, evidence-based evaluation is needed to measure the effectiveness of a crucial climate solution.

Throughout 2023, The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with TerraCarbon and other scientists, will evaluate and compare the effectiveness of different methods for measuring the impacts of REDD+ projects. The findings will be publicly reported and have significant implications for carbon markets, climate policy, and investment. TNC has a leading Natural Climate Solutions science team and experts in carbon markets and climate policy.

Immediate action is required to address the crisis of climate change, and scaling up Natural Climate Solutions is key to meeting global climate goals. Carbon markets are important for unlocking the power of nature, but they must be based on strong science that evolves.

The challenge for carbon markets is to continually incorporate rapidly improving science. We cannot afford for uncertainty to lead to inaction in our pursuit of ever-better carbon projects and methods for accounting for their climate, community, and natural benefits.

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Source: The Nature Conservancy

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