UN carbon offset platform reaches two million CERs milestone
The United Nations carbon offset platform has reached two million Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) purchased and cancelled since its launch in September 2015.
CERs are emission reductions units emanating from projects located in developing countries under UN Climate Change’s Clean Energy Machanism (CDM). These projects not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also support sustainable development in the project countries.
The platform, developed by UN Climate Change, enables anybody interested to take climate action by supporting these projects, thereby also contributing to sustainable development in developing countries. CERs are issued following a rigorous registration, validation, and certification process based on rules established at intergovernmental level within the climate change process convened by UN Climate Change.
One CER represents one tonne of greenhouse gas emission that has been reduced, avoided or captured. This means that if one has a twenty-tonne climate footprint, it can be compensated by cancelling 20 CERs.
The general public, individuals, businesses and organizations, can browse the UN platform and find the projects they wish to contribute to through their purchase, and immediately cancel CERs to compensate their GHG emissions, or simply to support climate action.
The two million CERs cancelled roughly corresponds to two million dollars in climate investment that are directly channeled from individuals and organizations to their selected CDM projects.
Since the adoption of the Paris agreement in 2015, a steadily increasing number of organizations, companies, cities, sub-regional governments and others have started to take action against climate change.
The Paris agreement itself also recognizes the important role of these “non-party stakeholders” in helping to implement the deal. A fundamental requirement is that each of us walk the talk and try to become climate neutral as soon as possible.
Whether a global corporation, a local bicycle shop or a concerned individual, one should estimate their climate footprint and reduce it as much as possible. Any emissions remaining can then be compensated or offset by supporting CDM emission reduction projects elsewhere.
In the past, this option was largely only available to the parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, but thanks to the UN carbon offset platform, anybody can take this third step.0
In addition to helping companies, organizations and individuals to directly access CERs to compensate for their climate footprints, and in addition to generating financing for emission reduction projects, the voluntary cancellation of CERs also hepls to send a signal that the emission of greenhouse gas emissions comes at a cost.
“Many people misunderstand offsets as a way to avoid having to reduce emissions at home, by offsetting instead of reducing emissions. In fact, the intention is just the opposite. Once you have identified your climate footprint and reduced it as much as possible, offsetting puts a price on the remaining emissions.
“The steadily increasing use of the Platform, including the two million CER milestone, is a token that more and more people understand this”, said Niclas Svenningsen, Manager, Global Climate Action at the UN Climate Change Secretariat.
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