Learn more about the voluntary carbon market and REDD+ projects

Get to know the terms and intricacies of this topic

What is the voluntary carbon market?

Before we start, it is crucial to know that there are two types of carbon markets: regulated and voluntary

The voluntary carbon market is structured around the demand for carbon credits by companies and individuals who voluntarily wish to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. With the rise in commitments made by companies to meet carbon neutrality, the demand for carbon credits in the voluntary market has increased

This market emerged at the same time as the Kyoto Protocol, with the Voluntary Emission Reduction (VERs). The credits in this market are also audited by an independent entity.

And what about the regulated carbon market?

The regulated carbon market had its first version elaborated in the Kyoto Protocol (1997) due to the urgencies seen in relation to climate change. Some of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries committed to reduce their emissions by creating legal obligations for companies within their territories, which could also reduce their emissions by investing in low-carbon solutions in developing countries.

In this market, national, state, and regional governments determine closed schemes involving specific sectors. The regulated market accounts for the largest share of carbon traded in the world.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the volume of carbon dioxide (CO2) that each individual emits in a given activity/time period. Practically everything we do on our daily routines, directly or indirectly, emits greenhouse gases, given that our economy is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels and other pollutant activities.

What is a carbon credit?

1 carbon credit = 1 tonne of CO2 (or CO2 equivalent - referring to other greenhouse gases, whose emissions were avoided (or sequestered), verified, and certified by a third-party verifier).

In this market, the avoidance or sequestration of carbon emissions is converted into carbon credits, bought by companies, individuals, and legal entities who seek to offset their emissions.

O que é tCO2e?

tCO2e = 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent It is a concept used to represent, in a single measure, all greenhouse gases, which are converted into equivalent units of CO22, making it easier to measure emissions.

What are REDD+ projects?

REDD = Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. The + sign is used to represent the social and biodiversity gains that occur throughout the project development and implementation.

These are projects that aim to avoid deforestation and, through a methodology certified by Verra, generate carbon credits that make it possible to remunerate those who keep the forests standing and invest in the development of local communities.

The step-by-step of a REDD+ project development

We identify an area that is, or is running the risk of, being deforested

We develop, alongside the landowners, a project to stop deforestation, protect biodiversity, and include local communities in the process

We constantly monitor the area to assure deforestation is halted and CO2 emissions are being avoided

We measure the volume of avoided emissions and convert those into carbon credits, bought by companies and legal entities that seek to offset their CO2 emissions. Carbonext destines 70% of this revenue to land protection.

How do REDD+ projects generate carbon credits?

Once the carbon inventory of the project area has been calculated, we are able to trace how much carbon dioxide would be emitted if that area was deforested. In this sense: 1 tonne of carbon dioxide = 1 carbon credit.

After Verra, an international organization which guarantees the integrity and validation of carbon credits certifies the project, credits are spread into annual "harvests", in reference to the amount of carbon dioxide expected it would be emitted in the area in the absence of the project.

What does it means to be carbon neutral?

To be carbon neutral is to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions as much as you can, and offset those you cannot reduce. Offsetting the remaining emissions is possible through the purchase of carbon credits.

What is Verra?

Verra is an international non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. that validates and certifies most of the carbon credit projects developed worldwide.

The Verra standards are used as pillars to guide and validate the voluntary carbon market, ensuring that the transacted credits are upright and are really equivalent to emission reduction.

What is VCS?

VCS = Verified Carbon Standard

The Verified Carbon Credit, or VCS, is the Verra pattern that dictates the rules and requirements that all carbon projects must follow to be validated and certified. All VCS projects are subject to independent Verra audits to assess the required patterns and metodologies are being correctly followed and applied.

VCS is the most adopted standard in the voluntary carbon market today.

What is VCU?

VCU = Verified Carbon Units

In the VCS Program, projects generate unique carbon credits, known as Verified Carbon Units or VCUs.

Each VCU represents a reduction or removal of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) achieved by a project. VCUs are characterized by several quality assurance principles that are confirmed through the process of project validation and verification.

VCUs are ultimately purchased and withdrawn by an end-user (individual or company) as a means of offsetting their emissions. All VCU issuance and withdrawal records are publicly available on the Verra Registry.

What is CCB?

CCB Standard = Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards

The CCB Standard identifies land management projects that provide positive benefits for climate change mitigation, local communities, and biodiversity.

They can be applied to any land management project, including projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).

They evaluate these projects since their initial stages of development all the way to implementation and were developed by CCBA ( Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance) and are managed by Verra.

The future depends on the choices we make today

Do you want to help build a new future? By joining the Carbon Neutral Movement, you can preserve the Amazon Rainforest, reduce atmospheric pollution, and make a difference in the world