In 2016, we created Cercarbono to contribute to climate solutions through the voluntary certification of carbon credits. Cercarbono currently has a Voluntary Carbon Certification Programme, which allows for the certification, issuance and registry of carbon credits generated by climate change mitigation programmes and projects.
Since our inception, our regulatory framework has undergone significant evolution and improvement and is now considered among the best voluntary carbon standards worldwide. With the launch of the tool for reporting voluntary contributions of programmes and projects to the Sustainable Development Goals, projects registered in our Programme can report the benefits of their implementation beyond carbon as a differentiating factor for trading their credits.
But beyond climate change, humanity faces other serious environmental problems.
Plastics cause serious problems associated with their production, use and disposal. Plastic litter can be found in almost every environment, from the Arctic to the deep ocean. Its presence in ecosystems, both in the form of plastics and microplastics, is affecting all food chains, leading to loss of biodiversity, depletion of non-renewable resources and severe management problems.
Since 2022, Cercarbono has been working with Global Zero Waste to create a Circular Economy Standard for plastic waste management. In November, we launched the consultation on the Protocol for the Voluntary Certification of Circular Economy. This protocol is the core of a certification programme of high technical rigour that combines the two organisations’ expertise for the certification, issuance and registry of credits from circular economy materials programmes and projects, enabling improved waste management practices to be offset with plastic credits.
Another issue of great concern is the loss of biodiversity due to our invasive and ecosystem-destroying behaviour, further enhanced by climate change and plastic pollution (among others), which have a domino effect. As a consequence of the above, as the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has clearly stated, the fabric of life (ecosystems) on which we all depend is torn apart.
Preserving biodiversity is essential to maintain the balance of life on Earth and supporting human well-being. Therefore, it is crucial to act quickly to protect and conserve it before it is too late.
Unlike climate change mitigation, where a single, easily understood unit of measurement could be defined and where there are nearly three decades of experience in setting international targets, markets and appropriate rules and methodologies, time is pressing to address biodiversity loss. We are not only three decades later but in more pressing circumstances and facing technically more significant challenges, such as defining a target and unit of measurement as clear as the one that exists to address climate change mitigation.
In 2021, Cercarbono also began developing a biodiversity programme that contributes to a voluntary market for biodiversity conservation and restoration contributions, focused on defining a single, understandable, easily measurable and standardisable unit of measurement, supported by the application of existing open-use tools and protocols.
We hope that we will be ready to give more news in the coming months.