What are “co-benefits” and how do they relate to carbon offsets?

All climate protection projects share the same goal of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, but high quality projects are capable of doing much more than combating climate change. Our projects focus on reducing greenhouse gases, but at the same time deliver real benefit to communities and ecosystems within the project regions.

Forest protection projects help to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, but they also preserve diverse ecosystems, and sustain healthy waterways for local people. Projects that are rooted in the installation of efficient stoves and household biogas improve indoor air quality and reduce fuel consumption while cooking. For women, these projects may free up valuable hours in reducing the amount of time devoted to firewood collection. And renewable energy projects stimulate local economies, create jobs and reduce air pollution from conventional power plants.

Spotlight on co-benefits

Climate protection and development goals can be seamlessly linked, and our projects aim to advance both together. The revenue generated through the sale of carbon offsets can be an important component to development, by providing reliable funding streams to underserved regions. Conversely, carbon certificates can also serve as a reputable vehicle for delivering development funds, while also benefiting the environment.

When you choose to invest or offset carbon emissions with a high quality project, your support will therefore provide a number of benefits to the project region. You’ll find real and measurable co-benefits in all our project presentations, where they are categorized as follows:

GesundheitHealth: cleaner water and air can provide an array of health benefits for people in the project area, by reducing exposure to water-borne disease, and harmful smoke and pollutants which result in respiratory diseases.

jobsJobs: throughout the development and implementation phases of a project, new jobs are created. For people in the project area, these jobs provide new sources of income and an opportunity to develop new skills.

nature and environmentEnvironmental Quality: combatting climate change is the primary environmental focus of emissions reduction projects, but other environmental benefits include the protection of biodiversity, cleaner air and water, and innumerable ecosystem services.

WasserqualitätWater Quality: many projects reduce emissions by alleviating the need to boil water prior to use within households, and reliably clean water is clear benefit of the project activity.

WertschöpfungFinancial: new jobs are an obvious example, but other financial benefits may include fuel savings or electricity savings at the household level, improved access to loans or investments, and a more robust local economy.

Food and NutritionFood and Nutrition: projects which help to preserve local ecosystems may also improve the reliability of local food supply, through the introduction of sustainable agricultural practices and the preservation of traditional sources of food supply.

Women’s empowerment Women’s empowerment: in project areas where women are tasked with firewood collection, water purification and cooking, the implementation of projects such as clean cook stoves can free up time for other entrepreneurial opportunities.

EducationEducation: emissions reductions projects introduce new technologies to project areas, bringing new skills in the process, while other projects fund substantial educational initiatives to build or maintain schools and improve access to education.

Avoided pollutionAvoided pollution: pollution comes in many forms, but nearly all carbon offset projects reduce pollution levels. Displacing fossil-fuel plants improves regional air and water quality, household projects reduce indoor air pollution, and forestry projects may result in cleaner waterways.