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Which Certification and voluntary offset label should I choose ?

A carbon offset project can obtain one of four different types of certification - also known as a label:

  • UN label. Projects are then called "UN projects" and are monitored by the UN. This is the highest level of certification imaginable. The CO2 Account is a project recognised and labelled by the UN. Les projets sont alors appelés « Projets Onusiens » et ils sont contrôlés par l’ONU.
  • Voluntary Carbon Standard label (VCS) is another international standard. It is also based on the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. It establishes criteria for the validation, measurement and monitoring of a carbon offset project.
  • Gold Standard label – is a standard set up by the Gold Standard Foundation. The Gold Standard Foundation works in the fields of climate change and renewable energy and has set up its own certification scheme for carbon offset projects.
  • In France, the label bas carbone, which was introduced by French DG Energy and Climate following the "domestic projects scheme"that the DG Treasury did not want to continue.

UN carbon offset projects

Voluntary offset projects managed by the UN can be divided into two categories:

  • Joint Implementation (JI), for countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and made commitments to reduce CO2 emissions. ONE PLANET's CO2 Account offer was launched on the basis of this label.
  • The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), for countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol but have not made any commitments to reduce CO2 emissions.

These initiatives come from the United Nations: they therefore represent the highest level of certification available. The CO2 Account is one of the projects certified by the UN and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Because they are supervised by the UN and its relationship with its member states, the UN's carbon offset projects avoid the phenomenon of double accounting by taking into account national registers.

It is the CDM and JI that have inspired all the other standards labelling carbon offset projects.

Voluntary Carbon Standard carbon offset projects - VCS

The Voluntary Carbon Standard is a certification label for voluntary carbon offset projects. This certification was set up by various non-governmental organisations such as the Climate Group and the World Economic Forum.

Gold Standard carbon offset projects

The Gold Standard label was set up by the Gold Standard Foundation. One of the foundation's objectives is to set up a large number of cooperation projects between countries in the South and North on a wide range of issues, including water, the protection of biodiversity and the fight against climate change. Carbon offsetting projects are one way of financing these numerous projects.

Other carbon offset labels

Other labels are becoming increasingly common. In particular, since the Kyoto Protocol died, JI projects no longer exist. France, wishing to continue the scheme, has therefore created its Low Carbon Label.

In all cases, if you would like to offset your emissions, please contact us.

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