Cookstoves and biodigesters: an educational series

Saturday, 11 May 2024

To date, Calyx Global has rated over 100 cookstove and biodigester projects, and we see the ongoing potential for these projects to be greenhouse gas-effective and SDG-aligned. As we have gained deeper insights into these projects, we’ve made our learnings available to our subscribers, as well as the broader carbon market community, in hopes of helping carbon credit buyers, developers and standard setters. Here we gather those resources for stakeholders interested in increasing their knowledge of these project types and our approach to assessing them.

Series timeline:
  1. Cooking up Quality: Carbon credits from efficient cookstove projects face integrity issues worth fixing: In this post from early 2023, we unpack their integrity risks based on evaluations under the Carbon Credit Quality Initiative (CCQI) and Calyx Global.
  2. A series introduction: We introduce our two main project types in the Households & Communities category and offer insight and structure on our series to come.
  3. Why fNRB is key: We share the concept of fNRB, and explain the importance of this parameter for Households & Communities carbon projects.
  4. fNRB deeper dive: We provide an in-depth explanation of this key parameter that underpins emission reductions and investigate the challenges and best practices related to its use.
  5. ICS ratings framework: We provide insight into how Calyx Global produces ratings for ICS projects.
  6. Household biodigester intro: We introduce, describe and explain the emission reduction potential of household biodigesters - a Households & Communities project type underdog. 
  7. Cookstove tradeoffs: We explore the debate regarding carbon credit quality vs. sustainable development contributions surrounding improved cookstove (ICS) projects.
  8. Recipe for success resource: We fully outline how project developers, carbon standards and buyers can understand our recommendations for best practices in the development of ICS projects. In doing so, we aim to enhance their GHG integrity and respective Calyx Global rating.
  9. Recipe for success blog post: We introduce our recommendations for ICS projects to ensure their improved GHG integrity for a higher rating by Calyx Global.
Key takeaways:

It has been an active six months for both improved cookstove (ICS) and household biodigester projects, as we made note of important changes in the fraction of non-renewable biomass (fNRB) and the potential tradeoffs to the integrity of greenhouse gas (GHG) claims and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for these projects. Moreover, in alignment with our mission to increase transparency and accountability in the market, we offered detailed insight regarding Calyx Global’s rating process for improved cookstove projects. Finally, we have provided recommendations for ICS projects to ensure the integrity of their GHG claims based on our experience rating over 100 projects. 

Calyx Global recognizes the value of household-scale carbon projects to support both people and the planet - advancing UN SDGs in tandem with avoiding emissions into our atmosphere. We will continue to assess the integrity of Households & Communities projects and communicate our findings for the benefit of all those involved. As new data becomes available, we will offer insight into existing and emerging project types. We look forward to seeing further innovation and improvement in carbon credit quality across this sector. 

If you have any further questions or reflections on the information we’ve provided, please reach out.

About the author

Calyx Global

This article includes insights and input from multiple experts in Calyx Global.