From Heather Schrock of Bonneville Environmental Fund (BEF)

“Additionality is a term used in markets for tradable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions (carbon offsets). It means that a project or activity that reduces GHGs would not have happened without the offset buyer or collective buyers in the market.”

Additionality basically prevents people making money off something that already exists, to incentivize an INCREASE in GHG mitigation.

Many of the criticisms of offsets comes from the mistakes the market made early on, the buyers who were essentially “buying their way out of environmental debt”, and the very black and white thinking that offsets are an all or nothing approach. It is true that if everyone in the world bought offsets, we probably wouldn’t stop climate change. BUT if it is included in a portfolio of approaches, we may very well make some impact. It is one tool in the toolbox…and we need as many tools as we can get!

A list of verifying bodies follows. These bodies verify additionality of carbon credit programs. Additionality is a very important element of carbon offsets.

  1. Project – BEF CE-Offset (a clean Energy, career connected education program). Location – Multiple Regions (USA), Verifying Body – Climate Action Reserve.
  2. Project – REDD+ (provides low-carbon development pathways for rural communities in Africa). Location – Africa. Verifying Body – Climate, Community & Biodiversity ((CCB).
  3. Project- Wind. Location – Multiple Regions, Verifying Body – Climate Action Reserve.
  4. Project – Composting. Location – Pacific NW, Verifying Body – Climate Action Reserve.
  5. Project – Landfill Gas. Location – Multiple Regions, Verifying Body – Climate Action Reserve.
  6. Project – Dairy. Location – West Coast, Verifying Body – Climate Action Reserve.
  7. Project – Campus Clean Credits. Locations- Multiple Regions (US), Verifying Body – Verified Carbon Standard.
  8. Project – Oceanic (increases shipping environmental and operational efficiencies). Verifying Body – Gold Standard.
  9. Project – Prairie Pothole Grasslands. Location – South Dakota, Verifying Body – American Carbon Registry.
  10. Project – EV Offsets. Location – National, Verifying Body – Verified Carbon Standard.

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