Submitted by Cool Effect
Thanks to everything from historic climate policies to being a topic of interest on late night television, the recent focus on carbon offsets — and the Voluntary Carbon Market as a whole — has never been stronger. With growing interest and investment in the carbon market comes increased scrutiny, and for good reason.
From shady, non-scientific brokers looking to make a quick buck, to corporate offset pledges that amount to nothing more than greenwashing, a few bad actors in the Voluntary Carbon Market are casting a negative light on everyone. One point continues to be extremely clear: there is a wide range of carbon projects. It will take integrity in crediting quality to build trust.
The disparities and inconsistencies of the carbon project verification process has sparked efforts like the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM), whose sole goal is to create universal standards that ensure all projects on the market are trusted, verified, transparent, and actually make an impact. Their mantra: “Build integrity and scale will follow.”
Cool Effect agrees — that is why since its founding in 2015, Cool Effect has upheld a commitment to supporting only the highest quality carbon reducing projects that pass its rigorous vetting and selection process. Cool Effect calls it “Carbon Done Correctly,” because that’s exactly what it is.
The Cool Effect Model for project selection includes a number of key elements
Beyond this project vetting process, Cool Effect also conducts a comprehensive scientific analysis of each project which includes the completion of due diligence criteria, something the organization refers to as its triple verification process. This includes an assessment of additionality, project baselines, leakage and Emission Reduction Claims. Most importantly, Cool Effect also conducts site visits which entails visiting the project on-the-ground to see the initiative first-hand. This enables the team to determine the accuracy of project documentation and better understand its impact on a local level.
“Our due diligence process is something we’re incredibly committed to. We’re passionate about supporting high-quality projects that have both a tangible benefit for the environment and transform lives in communities that need it most,” said Geisa Principe, Cool Effect’s Director of Project Research. “Our approach to project selection is rooted in transparency and science, because our ultimate goal is to instill trust in the companies and individuals who turn to Cool Effect when purchasing carbon credits. We want people to rest assured knowing that their donation is making a tangible impact.”
Cool Effect has vetted nearly 2,000 projects throughout the course of its history with only about 50 projects - or under 3% - having passed the organization’s rigorous evaluation process. That 3% of projects have made their way onto Cool Effect’s platform, and through the support of community contributions, over $36 million in donations have been routed to the developing world.
It’s time to embrace effective climate solutions like these that are rooted in transparency, supported by science, and beneficial for both the planet and its people.
To learn more about Cool Effect or how to partner with the organization to develop a meaningful sustainability and carbon offset program, please visit cooleffect.org/for-business.
Cool Effect is a San Francisco Bay Area 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to reducing carbon emissions around the world by allowing individuals, businesses, organizations and universities to create a tangible impact on climate change by funding the highest quality carbon reduction projects that are verifiably and measurably reducing global warming emissions. The organization was founded by Dee and Richard Lawrence on their passionate belief that support of carbon offset projects will create a cumulative effect that will reduce and prevent carbon pollution. Like the Butterfly Effect, The Ripple Effect, and others, a single action can have global impact.
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