This means that the following criteria must be met:
- Additionality: Project would not be possible without financing via CO₂ certificates
- Long-term duration: a minimum duration must be guaranteed
- Exclusion of double payments: In order to be able to measure the climate protection effect directly, accurate recording of saved greenhouse gas emissions and cancelled certificates must be carried out.
- Validation via third parties: the projects must be certified by a third party..
The projects reduce CO₂ emissions by replacing fossil fuel sources with renewable energies or by promoting energy-efficient technologies. Alongside this kind of CO₂ offsetting, the sustainable projects always create social benefits for the local population as well. For example, jobs are created, infrastructures improved or health risks reduced.
When implementing climate protection projects, myclimate works closely with experienced and independent partners in the respective countries. These local partners make sure that local projects are realised professionally, and they also regularly review the projects’ impact. Furthermore, the climate protection projects are reviewed annually by another independent external body.
The Gold Standard is an independent quality standard that distinguishes high-quality CO₂ offsetting projects It was established in 2003 by WWF and other environmental protection organisations to ensure that projects within the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as well as voluntary compensation meet the highest quality standards. In addition to the actual CO₂ reduction, projects awarded the Gold Standard also contribute to sustainable development in the respective project region.
Plan Vivo was established in 1996 and is the oldest standard for the certification of climate protection projects in the land usage sector. Reforestation and forest utilisation projects receive this label when they meet especially high demands. On the one hand, the projects have to be based and organised locally and the small-scale farming families have to receive at least 60% of the climate protection money. On the other hand, the projects have to pursue a holistic approach, fighting deforestation and poverty while focusing on reforestation. It is these qualities that make Plan Vivo one of the most credible and strongest standards in the world.
In contrast, Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs) are exchanged on a voluntary basis. Companies can take part in these projects as well, but they are not counted toward Kyoto Protocol commitments.
CER projects are audited by a United Nations accredited body and other independent bodies. Carbon credits were conceived as a mechanism for environmentally sound development; they are one of three flexible mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions set forth in the Kyoto Protocol. The goal is to support developing countries in achieving sustainable development and to prevent dangerous climate change. In this way, the mechanism helps to make sure that emissions reduction is carried out where the costs are lowest. As a result, the economic burden of fulfilling the Kyoto goals is smaller. The basic idea is that the place where emissions are reduced is of secondary importance. From a global perspective, the decisive consideration is that emissions are lower. This supports industrialised countries in fulfilling their quantified emissions limitation and reduction commitments from the Kyoto Protocol. Countries are issued Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) for measures that use this mechanism to reduce emissions. CERs can be credited to industrialised countries toward their reduction goals. A CER represents an emissions reduction of one ton of CO₂ equivalents.