How private sector expertise can make carbon credits greener

By RTCC Staff

Boosting local economies is key to improving the quality of carbon offset programmes, according to Bernard Giraud, President of the Livelihoods Venture.

With scepticism about the integrity of some offset programmes, Giraud says the Livelihoods Fund, one of the projects run by the venture, provides a better alternative, with businesses offsetting carbon and tackling social issues at the same time.

“Companies invest in a mutual fund and that is used to support the restoration of ecosystems that provide livelihoods to the local population. In return the companies receive carbon credits that have a very high social and environmental value because they are linked to the livelihoods of very poor populations,” explains Giraud.

Projects have included mangrove restoration to protect coast lines, sequester carbon and boost fisheries and tree planting to provide forestry incomes as well as absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

The fund is currently worth €30m with seven businesses including Danone and Credit Agricole taking part.

“Companies can provide expertise so for example Schneider Electric is working on access to energy and Danone is working on nutrition,” said Giraud.

“Danone’s dairy and water business is effectively processing products that come out of the soil. It is quite natural that companies like Danone would be involved in projects that link between livelihoods and the conservation of natural resources.”

Read more on: Nature | |