Climate change adaptation projects backed by carbon offset market

By staff writers
May 3, 2007

Ground-breaking environmental consultancy and green project developer CarbonAided has announced a new initiative to raise funds for climate change adaptation projects supported by respected civic and church agencies. The first is Christian Aid.

Under the new scheme, revenue generated from the trade in carbon offsets will be channelled into projects that help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change.

CarbonAided have developed an initiative to urge offset buyers to invest at least 5% of what they spend on offsets in the purchase of Adaptation Credits. All revenue generated by the sale of these Adaptation Credits will be ploughed into adaptation projects handled by charities on a not for profit basis. In addition, CarbonAided have pledged to donate 10% of their profit to adaptation projects.

CarbonAided’s scheme anticipates the full implementation of the UN Adaptation Fund which will place a requirement that a share of the proceeds from the Clean Development Mechanism be paid into the Fund. It is likely the Fund is still several years from being fully implemented. However, CarbonAided’s initiative goes beyond this and will include all offset sales.

“The most severe effects of climate change are already being felt by poor communities in developing countries. Those communities do not contribute to the change and are least able to adapt to it," says Dick Jones, a former Senior Energy Adviser at the UK Department for International Development, and now a director of CarbonAided.

He continued: "A major impact on climate change can be made by encouraging large carbon emitters to avoid and reduce their emissions through direct action and by offsetting remaining emissions. In the meantime, those suffering from the increasing frequency of catastrophic events such as drought and flooding need immediate help."

The first adaptation project to be funded by CarbonAided’s Adaptation Credits is the construction of water reservoirs in the Mandera District of north east Kenya. As a direct result of climate change, over the last fifteen years rainfall pattern in the region has been unpredictable and constantly below average. The resulting droughts have caused huge loss of life and livestock.

Dominic Brain, head of programme funding at Christian Aid, said: "Projects that help communities in developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change are a key element of Christian Aid’s strategy. It makes sense to ensure that as the market for carbon offsets develops, adaptation is not forgotten and becomes an intrinsic part of the package. CarbonAided’s sale of adaptation credits will prove a valuable source of funding for future adaptation projects."

CarbonAided assists entities to develop renewable energy and other green projects that combat global climate change. CarbonAided sells the resulting verified emissions savings to businesses and individuals as part of their strategy to reduce their carbon footprints. Income from the sale of the carbon offsets provides a crucial source of finance for green projects.

Christian Aid works in some of the world’s poorest communities in around 50 countries - regardless of religion. Its Climate Changed Campaign is calling on the British government to introduce mandatory carbon calculation and reporting standards for all companies operating in the UK.

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