Approach

Through carbon crediting we improve the viability of poverty alleviation and decentralization initiatives, coinciding with reduction or sequestration of green-house-gases. We strengthen the operations and management of the implementing organizations and help communities and individuals to create ownership of their projects.

Decentralization: The Key to Equality and true Sustainability

women with PV lamp

Decentral technologies like solar lamps mitigate local energy poverty and global greenhouse gas emissions.

Our projects are decentralized programs that are implemented by and improve the livelihoods of many people at many different sites. Traditional carbon crediting approaches are not apt for this type of initiatives. Therefore, we make use of innovative schemes like Programmes of Activities (PoA) and carbon accounting methodologies that build on sample monitoring. These schemes and methodologies reflect the decentralized nature of the projects. Under their umbrella it is possible to group large numbers of small and dispersed activities like photovoltaic lamps, woodstoves, mini-hydro projects or household biogas installations and help them to benefit from economies of scale. By this means the carbon project transaction costs are kept at a reasonable rate and volumes of carbon credits that are attractive to buyers and investors can be aggregated.

Since 2007 we have been at the forefront of methodological developments for the benefit of decentralized, pro-poor emission reduction projects. We have been working on and promoting the PoA scheme and pro-poor emission reduction accounting methodologies from the very beginning. This includes contributions to the enhancement of the regulatory framework of the PoA mechanism and the revision of a methodology for decentralized PV lighting projects. On the implementation side we have been responsible for the development of the fifth registered CDM PoA and for the development of a landmark rural PV lighting project.  The latter included the introduction of an unprecedented multi-stage cluster sampling approach for monitoring emission reductions.

Threefold Benefits for the People

sheet with project beneficiary information

Carbon credits: source of finance, strengthening of organizations, creation of ownership.

Through application of carbon crediting and valuation schemes Bridge Builders enriches and strengthens existing efforts of poverty alleviation that coincide with the reduction, abatement or sequestration of green-house-gases (GHGs).

The use of carbon crediting mechanisms for decentralized, pro-poor emission reduction projects is threefold:

  1. Tapping an additional source of finance: The sale of carbon credits can create a substantial source of income for pro-poor emission reduction projects. The carbon credit stream that is generated over the operational lifetime of a project can often translate into an important upfront contribution to project finance.
  2. Strengthening operations and management: Non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) and social entrepreneurs in developing countries can greatly benefit from the strict requirements on operations, management, monitoring and reporting imposed by carbon crediting standards. Due to scarce resources best operational and managerial practices are not always the first priority of poverty alleviation activities. Carbon crediting can, through the promise of additional revenues in connection with crediting-standard-immanent monitoring provisions, incentivize professionalization of operation and management structures.
  3. Creation of ownership: Opposed to traditional, donation-based approaches to poverty alleviation carbon crediting can create ownership of the project for the beneficiaries. Urban poor and peasants who reduce emissions are the primary owners of related certificates. Therefore, they are not receiving donations but are equal partners in the transaction of emission reductions against finance.