1 June 2023

A focus on climate action: SDG 13 claims in the VCM

Akina Wong

Natural Capital Intern

Torrey Sanseverino

Research Manager

11 min

SDG 13 is the most obvious SDG for project developers to claim as carbon credits are inherently climate positive. However, little is known about the value it adds to carbon credits. Unsurprisingly, the percentage of projects issuing carbon credits with SDG 13, the most commonly claimed SDG, is on the rise. However, a lack of transparency in SDG claims makes it difficult for buyers to understand the true impacts behind the claims. This report on SDG 13 is the second report in a series on SDG claims in the VCM, which details the suitability of each SDG for use in the VCM and recommendations when considering credits with each claim.

Key Takeaways:

1. UN SDG 13 (Climate Action) indicators are not useful at the VCM project scale without adjustment and not all UN SDG 13 indicators are representative of “climate impact”.

2. Indicator 13.2.2, “Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, is the most applicable and scalable to the project level because it measures carbon emissions at any scale.

3. Credits with other SDG claims alongside 13 can have significant price premiums and make stronger sustainable development impacts.

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