At Yacht Carbon Offset, we recognise that you require an Offset solution that can bear independent scrutiny. You may choose to disclose your Offsetting to others in the yachting community, or in the public domain, and your reputation is paramount. For this reason, our selection criteria for the carbon credits used to deliver your Carbon Offset are set out below, and incorporate a firm requirement for qualified independent project verification.
The Kyoto protocol established mechanisms that give rise to carbon credits known as Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) and Emission Reduction Units (ERUs), depending on the country in which the project is undertaken. CERs and ERUs are subject to full project oversight and verification under the oversight of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. CERs and ERUs fall within Yacht Carbon Offset selection criteria.
Carbon credits from projects falling outside the government / Kyoto regulated markets are generally referred to as Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs). Such instruments serve an important purpose in supporting smaller projects, including those in developing countries, which may not have the resources to complete the Kyoto compliance process, but which nevertheless generate real emissions savings and often bring associated social benefits. However, due to some inconsistencies in validation methods, not all VERs fall within Yacht Carbon Offset selection criteria; those that are currently judged acceptable are set out below.
- The Voluntary Carbon Standard, which was updated in 2007 with the participation of Lloyds Register Quality Assurance, ensures that project validation and verification is performed by accredited organisations, and that compliant Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) must be held within an approved registry to provide assurance against double-counting of credits. VCUs fall within Yacht Carbon Offset selection criteria.
- The Gold Standard for carbon credits focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with sustainable development benefits. The methodology for Gold Standard VERs requires independent validation and verification of the projects by UN-accredited organisations. Gold Standard VERs fall within Yacht Carbon Offset selection criteria.
Yacht Carbon Offset has a policy of purchasing carbon credits which will be traceable to individual carbon-saving projects.
The carbon markets are developing rapidly and the availability of acceptable instruments is expected to change over time. Yacht Carbon Offset is committed to keeping abreast of these developments to ensure that customers continue to receive an Offsetting service of the highest standard.
Forestry projects, where the compensating action to provide the offset is achieved by the absorption of atmospheric CO2 during photosynthesis, are not currently favoured by Yacht Carbon Offset as a mechanism to offset carbon emissions by a yachts engines, although may be considered where they fall within the above selection criteria. Pure tree-planting schemes seek to create an offset by increasing the amount of CO2 “sequestered” or stored in plant matter. This is only worthwhile if the trees will in reality be protected forever otherwise the carbon is released again when the trees are lost. Even then, the methodology for figuring out the equivalent CO2 saving today is both complex and controversial. And there is no point in simply buying existing forests that are not under threat, since this makes no difference to atmospheric CO2 levels at all.