Projects developed to combat climate change that are certified under The Gold Standard eco-label also deliver additional environmental and socio-economic benefits beyond carbon worth billions of dollars over the crediting period of the projects, according to research by that organization.
In the research, economists captured and monetised the environmental and socio-economic net benefits of 109 Gold Standard wind, cookstove, water filter, bio-digester and afforestation/reforestation projects, or about 15 percent of all Gold Standard projects in the pipeline.
They found that the cookstove projects assessed deliver 84-million dollars in health benefits per year, or almost 630-million dollars over the crediting period of these projects. Households also save an estimated 143-million dollars annually on coal or firewood purchases or equivalent collection time, which adds up to one billion dollars in livelihood benefits over the crediting period of the projects. This is in addition to 4-million dollars of yearly employment benefits, which have been conservatively calculated without taking into account any economic flow-on impacts.
Gold Standard wind projects are saving host countries about 100 million dollars a year in their Balance of Payments, due to savings in fossil fuel imports. This amounts to almost 700-million dollars across The Gold Standard’s 54 wind projects over a seven year crediting period. Wind projects are also estimated to be worth almost 12 million dollars in employment annually.
The study also found that as an impact investment, Gold Standard credits deliver enormous value to buyers. It calculated Gold Standard cookstove credits each carry a value, in addition to a tonne of carbon reduction, of 96 dollars in health benefits and 55 in livelihood benefits, whilst an afforestation/reforestation credit delivers 150 dollars in eco-system services and 27 dollars in employment in local communities.
In November, The Gold Standard launched a Land Use & Forests Framework as well as requirements for the certification of afforestation and reforestation projects. The framework outlines an approach that prompts governments and other carbon buyers to consider and address the drivers of deforestation.