The Carbon Credit Quality Initiative (CCQI) this week released a new interactive tool to rate the quality of various forms of carbon credits. The free online CCQI Scoring Tool is designed to help buyers in the expanding carbon credit market to make informed choices, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of credits transacted in the market.
CCQI, led by the Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US), and Oeko-Institut, provides free resources, such as its robust assessment methodology and interactive scoring tool, to support carbon credit buyers seeking the highest possible quality and to increase public understanding of which credits have the best climate mitigation impact.
The first set of CCQI scores analyzes the quality of three carbon credit project types, including landfill gas usage, natural forest establishment, and efficient cookstoves, across four carbon crediting schemes, which are Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Action Reserve, Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard operated by Verra.
Carbon credits frequently perform well in certain areas but poorly in others, according to the initial set of CCQI scorings. Efficient cookstove initiatives, for example, confront significant challenges in assessing emission reductions and managing non-permanence, but they frequently produce significant environmental and social benefits.
Carbon credits are evaluated using the CCQI approach, which ranks each carbon credit on a scale of one to five against the quality objectives. This enables buyers to make an informed choice by understanding the nuances and trade-offs in the quality of carbon credits.
The CCQI scores, for example, demonstrate significant disparities amongst carbon crediting regimes. The Clean Development Mechanism, for example, was found to have the best third-party auditing rules, the Climate Action Reserve was found to have the best approach for compensating for potential non-permanence, the Gold Standard was found to have the most comprehensive environmental and social safeguards, and the Verified Carbon Standard performed well in governance, transparency, and approaches for reducing non-permanence risks.
CCQI stated that it will expand its Scoring Tool to review more project types and programs, allowing users to learn how other projects perform in terms of quality. The next round of results will be available by the end of this year, according to the initiative.