Markets working to support sustainable development

Utilities

Utilities, including water, sanitation, power generation

New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (CLOSED)

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction scheme (GGAS) was a cap-and-trade mechanism designed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity producers, retailers, high emitting industries and facilities. This included power generators, electricity retailers, large energy users (over 100GWh/year) and ‘market customers’ – facilities such as factories that take electricity supply directly from the national grid. 

Region: 

Biodiversity offsets (Conservation Banking)

Biodiversity offsets are a form of conditional environmental financing. Like their more well-known cousin, carbon offsets, various parties (e.g. governments, companies or individuals) look to compensate the damage they cause in one location by benefitting bidoversity somewhere else. 

The VER+ Standard

The Voluntary Emissions Reduction VER Standard is for carbon offset projects and has been developed by TÜV SÜD (a German based verification company).

 A number of project types are elgigible for certification, however like the Kyoto mechanisms (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation) it excludes nuclear power projects and large hydropower projects over 80MW. Hydropower projects over 20MW must conform to requirements of the World Commission on Dams.

WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) looks to limit the negative impact that some regulations and standards may have on free trade, while also allowing members the right to implement legitimate policy objectives including the protection of fauna and flora.

The overarching goal of the aggreement is therefore ensure that ‘unnecessary obstacles to trade’ are avoided. Such obstacles may  include:

Strategic Climate Fund (SCF)

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:

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

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)

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).

SOCIALCARBON

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: 

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