To help bring transparency to the fast-growing voluntary carbon offset market to combat climate change, Environmental Defense Fund has announced the launch of CarbonOffsetList.org, an online resource that will help businesses identify and purchase carbon offsets that represent real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets allow buyers to offset, or neutralize, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced from their own activities by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. Developed through a rigorous review process in collaboration with a committee of external experts in the fields of science and policy, the Web site identifies 11 pre-screened, independently verified offset projects that meet Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) criteria for high quality carbon offsets.
EDF’s evaluation focused on the environmental integrity of the projects and whether projects could show verifiable and measurable proof of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The approach focused on finding high quality emissions reductions regardless of project type, technology, or supplier.
“Companies increasingly see the value in incorporating carbon offsets into their overall climate action strategies, but until now, buyers had to do their own homework to determine which projects were most credible,” said Thomas Murray, managing director of corporate partnerships for EDF. “CarbonOffsetList.org eliminates the guesswork and offers buyers direct access to a list of thoroughly vetted projects that meet Environmental Defense Fund’s high-quality criteria.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the near term (through 2025) nearly one-third of the needed U.S. emissions reductions could be met by offsets. Voluntary action by businesses and individuals to reduce their emissions through on-site reductions and carbon offsets plays an important role. By connecting offset purchasers to high-quality projects, CarbonOffsetList.org will help ensure that money spent on offsets makes a real contribution to combat climate change.
“While most experts are convinced that there is a role for carbon offsets, the subject often prompts more questions than answers,” said Bill Chameides, dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and member of the independent expert review committee. “EDF’s site should give purchasers confidence that the offsets they buy result in real greenhouse gas reductions to help meet their environmental goals.”
In response to numerous inquiries from companies seeking guidance on using carbon offsets as part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy, EDF developed the current list through a request-for- proposal and project-by-project review process. EDF received more than 70 project proposals from dozens of suppliers, with a wide ranging diversity of project types and approaches. In order to be considered for inclusion, providers submitted project documentation for review, including project design documents and third-party verification reports.
CarbonOffsetList.org features 11 emissions reduction projects ranging from capturing and destroying methane from landfills and dairy farms to reducing emissions at truck stops across the country. They are:
- Greater New Bedford LFG Utilization, Dartmouth, MA, offered by CommonWealth Resource Management Corp. and Carbonfund.org
- North Country LFG Utilization, Bethlehem, NH, offered by CommonWealth Resource Management Corp.
- Development Authority of the North Country Solid Waste Management Facility, Rodman, NY, offered by Carbonfund.org
- Upper Rock Island Landfill, East Moline, IL, offered by Renewable Choice Energy
- Newton-McDonald County Landfill, Neosho, MO, offered by 3Degrees
- Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority Landfill, Lebanon, PA, offered by Terrapass
- Greenville County Landfill, Greer, S.C., offered by Sterling Planet
- Inland Empire Dairy Methane, Chino, Calif., offered by Carbonfund.org
- IdleAire Technologies Corporation Advanced Truckstop Electrification, Nationwide, offered by Carbonfund.org
- Integrated Gas Recovery Systems (IGRS) Landfill, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, offered by GreenLife
- Irani Wastewater Methane, Santa Catarina, Brazil, offered by EcoSecurities
EDF expects this list to continue to grow as additional information about the projects under consideration is received.