The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are widely known and are often used by carbon credit projects as a framework through which to declare the co-benefits associated with credits. BeZero Carbon has published a report that examines the systems that process SDGs, and the future of co-benefit claims in the Voluntary Carbon Market.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
1. The SDG declarations lifecycle is complex and differs between accreditors
This lack of standardisation within the SDG declaration lifecycle has in some instances created room for less robust SDG declarations to be published, creating potential for buyers to be misled on the potential social, economic, and/or environmental impacts associated with a credit.
2. The quality of SDG declarations vary widely and are difficult to measure
Due to the lack of standardisation, the quality of SDG declarations can vary widely. Unlike carbon, which results in a quantitative and consistent outcome, SDG declarations often result in abstract impacts which are not straightforward to measure.
3. Ecosystem assets are evolving but remain early-stage
Ecosystem asset markets, with projects that focus on social, economic, and/or environmental impacts beyond carbon, are in development and we are starting to see accreditors establish systems for these markets. Through these systems, projects will be able to generate SDG units separate from Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) but the market is still very nascent.
Report by Torrey Sanseverino, Cara Howse and Dr Nick Atkinson
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