Nexus-beyond offsetting offers a fair and transparent approach to carbon offsetting
Is your company looking for a fair and transparent way to offset your carbon emissions or support clean development projects in developing countries? If you wish to see your money spent on carbon offsetting going mostly to help the communities and the environment directly, the Nexus-beyond offsetting initiative could be what you are looking for.
Nexus-Carbon for Development
Nexus-Carbon for Development is an alliance of pro-poor project developers who tackle both climate change and poverty in a fair and transparent way. Registered as a non-profit organisation in Singapore since 2008, Nexus acts as a peer-to-peer services platform, creating synergies between its alliance members and providing awareness raising, capacity building, carbon project documentation, and carbon asset management.
Nexus uses carbon finance as a means to accelerate the dissemination of low carbon technologies which benefit poor populations in developing countries. Nexus members include organisations such as:
- Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI) in India
- Approtech Asia in the Philippines
- Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC)
- Global Environment Institute (GEI) in China
- Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity (GERES), headquartered in France
- Hydrologic Social Enterprise in Cambodia
- Integrated Development Association (IDEA) in Sri Lanka
- The Center for Rural Communities Research and Development in Vietnam
- The Centre for Rural Technology in Nepal (CRT/N)
- The Village Education Resource Center (VERC) in Bangladesh
- Yayasan Dian Desa (YDD) in Indonesia
Nexus works closely with its members to develop projects that alleviate poverty and improve the environment, and acts as a coordinating body to target and deal with buyers directly. The current projects are in the field of water purification, improved cooking stoves, and biogas digestion.
Nexus recently launched a new initiative called, Nexus-beyond offsetting, to offer a fair and transparent approach to carbon offsetting. Nexus members connect directly with companies who wish to purchase carbon credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions, or to invest and support clean development projects in developing countries.
This scheme would result in projects that have environmental, economical and social benefits, and ensure that the funding positively impact the communities and support access to clean energy and water.
In the Nexus-beyond offsetting website, companies can first measure their carbon footprint using the online calculator, and explore the various tips to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Next, if companies wish to offset their emissions, they could support projects developed by Nexus members and purchase carbon credits.
Companies can also go beyond offsetting and provide further support through financing the project development in terms of grants that allow early development innovations, or project investment that provide debt financing to projects.
GERES – New Lao Stove project
One example of a project developed by a Nexus member is the GERES – New Lao Stove project. GERES or the Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity, is a French non-profit NGO that has led innovative and sustainable development projects in developing countries, with the mission of protecting the environment and reducing poverty, for over 30 years.
In Cambodia, wood provides for more than 80% of the people’s energy needs. There is no sustainable management of wood resources, which has become a major issue due to the rapid pace of population growth and development. Cooking with wood and charcoal has direct negative health impacts on users, most of which are women. Indoor air pollution, mostly from wood and charcoal smoke, is responsible for respiratory, heart and eye problems.
In order to address the health, energy and environmental problems, GERES created an improved cookstove, the New Lao Stove, which saves around 22% of wood and charcoal compared to traditional stoves. The objectives of the projects are to:
- Reduce household fuel consumption and expenses
- Protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity
- Mitigate global warming by limiting greenhouse gas emissions
Since 2003, the project has been very successful with more than 1.5 million stoves sold, and over 40% of Cambodian urban households have at least one stove. The effects on the environment is also impressive with 1.1 million tons of CO2eq avoided and 5,000 hectares of wood saved. The project has also created more than 1,100 jobs.
What do you think of this beyond offsetting initiative? Is your company reducing carbon emissions and buying carbon offsets, or investing in clean energy or development projects? Tell us your experience and share your comments in the box below.