Carbon credit quality is more than GHG integrity

Monday, 23 Oct 2023

Caption: Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods reforestation project claims to provide social impact on SDG 8 (Work + Economic Growth), SDG 13 (Climate action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

Analyzing the quality of a carbon project means more than just GHG integrity. 

Carbon projects claim multiple benefits outside of just emission reductions that buyers of carbon credits want to support. But, as we’ve seen in multiple recent headlines, it is important to give those “beyond carbon” claims the same hard scrutiny as greenhouse gas (GHG) claims.

A recent article called out a failure of fair profit sharing with local communities, and another one shed light on allegations that linked avoided deforestation carbon credit project developers with the theft of public lands. Unsubstantiated claims of “beyond carbon” impact can potentially put any organization in the hot seat. Plus, environmental and social safety concerns, i.e. a lack of following the “do no harm” mantra, have the potential to turn a well-intentioned positive action into something negative.

The carbon market’s purpose is to make a positive impact for the benefit of society. It’s a unique opportunity to bring about sustainable development, but ensuring that happens requires a focused effort, measurement and accountability. 

When Calyx Global was just a seed of an idea, thinking “beyond carbon” was already at the forefront. We aim to arm carbon credit buyers with the information they need to maximize their impact with lower risk for people and the planet. To this end, we’re starting an information series focused on educating carbon credit buyers on sustainable development goals and environmental and social safeguards. If you want to be sure to receive these pieces, sign up for our newsletter below and/or follow us on Linkedin.

Note: Part 2 in this series is out now. Learn more about SDGs and their role in carbon credits in the next post from our Thinking Beyond Carbon series.

About the author

Calyx Global

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