This means that the following criteria must be met:
- Additionality: Project would not be possible without financing via CO₂ certificates
- Permanence: a minimum duration must be guaranteed
- Exclusion of double counting: 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 emissions by replacing fossil fuels that are harmful to the climate with renewable energy sources or by promoting more energy-efficient technologies, as well as by lowering methane emissions or storing CO2 in natural sinks. The myclimate portfolio ranges from solar plants and drinking water preparation facilities to composting, recycling and efficient stove projects, as well as reforestation and nature restoration initiatives and moor rewetting projects. Alongside carbon offsetting, the projects always create local benefits for the population and the environment. In this way, jobs are created, infrastructure is improved, health risks are reduced, species diversity is protected and educational opportunities are improved. myclimate transparently reveals which of these so-called United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) each project contributes to.
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.
International climate protection projects
The Gold Standard is an independent quality standard that recognises high-quality carbon offset projects. It was established in 2003 by the WWF and other environmental protection organisations to ensure that projects within the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as well as voluntary offsetting meet the highest quality standards. Alongside carbon reduction, projects that are recognised by the Gold Standard also contribute to sustainable development in the respective project region, the SDGs of the United Nations (UN).
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.
CDM projects are reviewed by one of the bodies recognised by the United Nations 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 helps industrialised countries tp meet their quantified emissions limitation and reduction commitments under 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 towards their reduction goals. A CER represents an emissions reduction of one tonne of CO₂ equivalents.
To maintain the international climate protection process after 2020, a new climate agreement became necessary. This was adopted at COP in Paris as the “Paris Agreement”.
Carbon offset projects in Switzerland
The CO2 Act and the associated CO2 Ordinance form the legal basis for the implementation of carbon offset projects in the mandatory CO2 market in Switzerland. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in partnership with the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has developed recommendations for the implementation of these legal provisions and, in its enforcement communication, presented “projects for the reduction of emissions within Switzerland”.
Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) take place on a voluntary basis. The myclimate CH VER Guidelines serve as the basis for myclimate CH VER carbon offset project development and registration in Switzerland. The Guidelines were developed based on the strict specifications of the Gold Standard and the enforcement communication of the FOEN and the SFOE and were tailored to projects in Switzerland. All projects are reviewed by independent external auditors and, owing to the lack of certification under an official standard, provided with certificates from international carbon offset projects.
You can find further exciting information on the subject of climate change and climate protection in our climate booklet