CDM Gold Standard

CDM Gold Standard

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The Gold Standard is the world's only independent standard for creating high-quality emission reductions projects in the Clean Development Mechanism
Clean Development Mechanism
The Clean Development Mechanism is one of the "flexibility" mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol . It is defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, and is intended to meet two objectives: to assist parties not included in Annex I in achieving sustainable development and in contributing to the...

 (CDM) Joint Implementation
Joint Implementation
Joint implementation is one of three flexibility mechanisms set forth in the Kyoto Protocol to help countries with binding greenhouse gas emissions targets meet their obligations. JI is set forth in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol...

 (JI) and Voluntary Carbon Market. It was designed to ensure that carbon credits are not only real and verifiable but that they make measurable contributions to sustainable development worldwide. Its objective is to add branding, a label to existing and new Carbon Credit
Carbon credit
A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or the mass of another greenhouse gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide....

s generated by projects which can then be bought and traded by countries that have a binding legal commitment according to the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...



The Gold Standard for CDM (GS CER) was developed in 2003 by World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

 (WWF), SouthSouthNorth, and Helio International. The Voluntary Gold Standard (GS VER), a methodology for use within the voluntary carbon market, was launched in May 2006. Both were the result of an extensive 12-month workshop and web-based consultation process conducted by an independent Standards Advisory Board composed of NGOs, scientists, project developers and government representatives.

The Gold Standard is open to any non-government, community based organization especially those with an interest in the promotion of sustainable development or a focus on climate and energy issues. As of March 2009, 60 environmental and development non-profit organizations internationally officially endorse The Gold Standard. These organizations support The Gold Standard as an effective tool for creating high-quality emission
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

 reduction projects that promote sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

 and benefit local communities.

The Gold Standard is headquartered in the BASE (Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy) offices in Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, with offices in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and San Francisco. It employs local experts in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...


The Gold Standard is registered as a non-profit foundation under Swiss law.


To be eligible for Gold Standard Certification, a project must:
  1. Be an approved Renewable Energy
    Renewable energy
    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

     Supply or End-use Energy Efficiency
    Efficient energy use
    Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature...

     Improvement project type
  2. Be reducing one of the three eligible Green House Gases: Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
  3. Not employ Official Development Assistance
    Official development assistance
    Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

     (ODA) under the condition that the credits coming out of the project are transferred to the donor country.
  4. Not be applying for other certifications, to ensure there is no double counting of Credits
  5. Demonstrate its 'additionality' by using the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992...

    's (UNFCCC) Large Scale Additionality Tool; and show that the project is not a 'business-as-usual' scenario
  6. Make a net-positive contribution to the economic, environmental and social welfare of the local population that hosts it

The Gold Standard Versions

In July 2008 the Gold Standard Version 2.0 was released with sets of guidelines and manuals on the GS requirements, toolkits and other supporting documents to be used by project developers and DOEs. This relegated the previously applicable manuals to Version 1.0. The Version 2.0 also supports Program of Activities (PoA).

The Gold Standard Registry

Status of projects that apply for Gold Standard can be tracked on its registry. The Project Developers, Designated Operational Entities (DOEs) (also known as Validators), and Traders can open accounts with the registry. There are various publicly available reports

See also

Reviews For:
Gold Standard Whey
  • Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance
    Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance
    The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance is an initiative led by Conservation International, CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, and the Wildlife Conservation Society to promote the development of land management activities that simultaneously deliver significant benefits for...

External links

  • CDM Gold Standard
  • (manuals for design and project developers)
  • (Additionality tool)