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How to buy quality carbon credits on a budget

It is possible to find carbon credits that offer a balance between cost and impact, but it’s crucial to ensure the credits meet high-quality standards.

Ever heard the phrase ‘you get, what you pay for’? Well this goes for carbon credits too. The higher the price, the higher the impact. As the voluntary carbon market has faced increased scrutiny over the past few years, integrity associations such as the ICVCM and VCMI have become increasingly aware of the need to set tighter guidelines, for what is deemed genuine and impactful. 

COP28 also saw integrity frameworks and carbon registries come together to collaborate and unify guidelines to improve market transparency. We are seeing market trends shift in a similar pattern, with a focus on companies purchasing higher priced and higher integrity credits. But what does this mean for smaller organizations and SMB’s who are looking to buy carbon credits? In this article we go back to basics with carbon credits and round up some of the best methods for choosing high quality carbon credits, with a smaller budget. 

What is a carbon credit and how does it work?

Carbon credits and carbon offsets are financial instruments that represent the reduction or removal of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. 

Carbon credits and offsets are created through various projects and activities aimed at reducing emissions. These projects can include renewable energy generation, energy efficiency improvements, reforestation, biodiversity conservation and methane capture from landfills for example. Each project undergoes a rigorous assessment process to ensure its legitimacy and the accuracy of emission reductions.

Learn more in our article – Everything you need to know about carbon credits. 

How much is 1 carbon credit worth?

A carbon credit typically represents one metric ton of CO2, While a carbon offset refers to a project or initiative that facilitates emissions avoidance equivalent to one metric ton of CO2.

Who generates carbon credits?

Carbon credits are generated through projects that facilitate emissions avoidance. These projects must follow established methodologies and undergo verification by accredited third-party organizations. Verification ensures that the emission statistics are real and verifiable.

Carbon credits are verified by independent third-party organizations that specialize in greenhouse gas accounting and verification. Examples of leading verification standards include the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS by Verra), Gold Standard, and American Carbon Registry (ACR), Puro.Earth 

Where does carbon credit money go?

The money from carbon credit transactions goes to the entities that own or operate the projects generating the credits. This could include renewable energy project developers, reforestation initiatives, or organizations implementing emission reduction projects. The revenue generated is often used to cover project costs, invest in further sustainable practices, and support the overall goals of the projects.

At ClimateTrade, we provide climate solutions for companies who want to take a step forward in their sustainability commitments. We built the world’s first climate marketplace with the largest project portfolio. We prioritize transparency and traceability by utilizing blockchain technology to ensure customers who buy carbon credits know exactly where their investment is going, and project developers can receive the necessary funds quickly and efficiently. 

What factors affect carbon pricing?

Various factors contribute to the dynamics of carbon pricing, shaping the value and trade of carbon credits. The market demand and supply for carbon credits plays a central role in determining pricing trends. Concerns about greenwashing have slowed the market at times, however this has also helped to improve 

The type of carbon reduction or removal project, its geographical location, and the specific credits it generates also contribute to the variability in carbon pricing. Moreover, the credibility and effectiveness of the verification process for carbon credits are crucial factors influencing their pricing. Finally, investor and market confidence in the overall efficacy of carbon credits and the carbon market as a whole further contribute to the fluctuation of carbon pricing.

Discover today’s carbon prices.

What are high integrity carbon credits?

High integrity carbon credits refer to credits that meet stringent standards, ensuring that the emission reductions or removals claimed by the project are accurate, additional, verifiable, and environmentally sound. These credits adhere to recognized certification standards, providing transparency and credibility in the carbon market.