The Global Environment Fund is an investment firm deticated to the energy, environment and natural resource sectors and it is a signatory on the United Nations Principle for Responsible Investing. In it's pursuit of sustainability and well-placed capital, it works to uphold standards in three areas - these are:
(environmental taxation, subsidies, carbon trading, conditional financing)
The Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) is one of two Climate Investment Funds administered by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and is designed to fund and pilot ‘new approaches with potential for scaled-up, transformational action aimed at a specific climate change challenge or sectoral response’.
The MDBs involved are: African Development Bank; Asian Development Bank; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Inter-American Development Bank; World Bank Group. In total the SCF commands a budget of US$ 1.9 billion and invests this through 3 targeted programmes:
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is an independent financial organisation that invests in projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, describing itself as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It applies to offset projects in the voluntary carbon trading sector and was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).
Plan Vivo is a framework that helps communities use their natural resources in a sustainable way, focusing on small-scale forest management and afforestation projects that produce carbon credits as well as benefits to lovelihoods and ecosystems.
The scheme is implemented through projects which are all community-led and produce Plan Vivo Certificates - one certificate being equal to the reduction or avoidance of 1 tonne of CO2 and which are registered and traded on the Markit Environmental Registry.
SOCIALCARBON (Version 5, 2013) is a complementary standard that certifies carbon reduction projects for their contributions to sustainable development. It is applied to lots of different projects that have already achieved certification for their carbon reduction/avoidance activities - from small ones such as income generation intiatives for local communities, to large one including hydroelectric plants.
The aims of the standard are to:
The American Carbon Registry (ACR) has developed a number of standards to validate and verify carbon emissions reduction projects in diverse sectors including landfill gas, fuel switching, methane capture, forest carbon, truck idling, anaerobic digestion, carbon capture and storage, and rural solar power.
The American Carbon Registry publishes standards, methodologies, protocols and tools for greenhouse gas accounting. The 3 standards published to date are:
The Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) is an international collaboration between over 70 companies, financial institutions, government agencies and civil society organisations. It aims to help companies to conserve biodiversity in an ecologically effective and economically efficient manner as they pursue their business goals.
The EU Emissions Trading System is an international trading system used as a tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions, helping 28 of the EU member states (+ Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) meet their Kyoto emission reductions commitment.
The Gold Standard is a set of criteria for certifying carbon offset projects and the carbon credits that they produce, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management and land use/forest projects. In addition, the Gold Standard Foundation are developing methodologies for water certification.