Study confirms sustainable impact of carbon offset projects in emerging and developing countries

June 13, 2022

A recent study by the German environmental organisation Öko-Institut e.V. and the Stockholm Environment Institute on behalf of the Foundation Development and Climate Alliance emphasizes the positive contribution of carbon offset projects towards sustainable development.

When selecting and developing carbon offset projects, ClimatePartner pays attention to their effectiveness, and their contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. "High-quality carbon offset projects have a far greater impact than offsetting emissions alone. They also always make an important contribution to the environment, local people and wildlife," says Moritz Lehmkuhl, founder and CEO of ClimatePartner.

Moritz Lehmkuhl is referring to the current study of the Öko-Institut e.V. and the Stockholm Environment Institute, commissioned by the Foundation Development and Climate Alliance, entitled "Sustainable development impacts of selected project types in the voluntary carbon market". The study highlights that carbon offset projects also make an important contribution to society and support initiatives such as poverty reduction or the improvement of water quality, nutrition and health. Moritz Lehmkuhl explains: "We are pleased that it is increasingly being understood that projects in the Voluntary Carbon Market have important and sustainable development impacts in emerging and developing countries that go far beyond the reduction of CO2 emissions. These impacts fulfill many of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development."

Transparency and information about carbon offset projects is important for both consumers and companies. At ClimatePartner, each carbon offset project has its own project ID illustrating the offset projects contributions towards the UN SDGs. One example is the Social Impact Project (ID 1350) in India. In addition to saving carbon emissions, Microenergy Credits are awarded to promote the local economy, entrepreneurship and equal rights for women. In addition, the loans enable energy-efficient products, such as water filters or efficient cooking stoves, to be offered at an affordable price providing further positive effects for local people and the climate.

With its ID tracking, ClimatePartner already fulfills the study's recommendation that carbon offset projects should generally provide information on their contributions in line with SDG goals. "With our approach, we provide security for all parties involved," says Moritz. "We use extensive resources and know-how to achieve this transparency." At ClimatePartner, a team of international experts is responsible for selecting and developing carbon offset projects. Project developers travel to regions in South America, Asia or Africa, inspect the situation and assess the benefits and contribution on the ground. Furthermore, ClimatePartner only works with projects that are certified according to internationally recognized standards - especially the Gold Standard (GS) and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

ClimatePartner's goal is to provide best possible support in its climate action measures to businesses. It plays a central role in achieving the 1.5 degree target, as this is difficult to achieve without a substantial contribution from companies and the economy. Moritz emphasizes: "Carbon offset projects are an important element when it comes to offsetting residual emissions. However, offsetting is only one element of a holistic climate action strategy." A climate action strategy begins with the calculation of CO2 emissions for the creation of a corporate or product carbon footprint, continues with avoidance and reduction measures, and ends with the offset of the unabated emissions via carbon offset projects..

More information about the standards and requirements for carbon offset projects: