CHOOOSE becomes first Fairtrade Carbon Credit distributor out of Norway
CHOOOSE is proud to be the first Fairtrade Carbon Credit distributor out of Norway, enabling everyone to take part in the fight against climate change by supporting verified Fairtrade communities and farmers.
Climate change represents new challenges for the world's small-scale farmers and threatens the supply of raw materials. Although farmers have made minimal contribution to causing climate change themselves, they are among those hardest hit and are often overlooked when climate measures are developed. In 2015, Fairtrade International teamed up with Gold Standard and producer groups to develop the Fairtrade Climate Credits. Through projects such as reforestation or energy-efficient cookstoves, vulnerable communities can reduce emissions, and become eligible for carbon credits while also strengthening themselves against the effects of climate change and poverty.
Projects eligible for generating Fairtrade carbon credits fall into three categories:
- Renewable energy projects such as solar thermal heating/electricity, solar photovoltaic, wind energy, hydropower, biogas heating/electricity.
- Energy efficiency projects such as improved cookstoves, water filtration/purification systems, energy-saving lamps/fluorescent lamps.
- Forestry projects such as planting trees or replanting trees in a previously forested area.
Fairtrade Carbon Credits allows small-scale farmers and producers to invest in and carry out projects that can reduce their own climate impact and increase their resilience to climate change. The projects can, for example, involve streamlining energy use, switching to renewable energy, and tree planting. The Fairtrade emission credits are sold in collaboration with Gold Standard. Similarly, as Fairtrade-certified raw materials, manufacturers receive a minimum price and premium payment for the credits.
A requirement in Fairtrade's climate standard is that farmers must be involved and have ownership of the projects and emission credits to benefit from the partnership and have the opportunity to develop more climate projects. By, among other things, ensuring that the raw material producers have greater ownership of the projects, Fairtrade's emission credits differ from similar schemes.
“Fairtrade Carbon Credits are an impactful investment in making vulnerable rural communities more financially and environmentally resilient to the effects of a changing climate and we’re proud to be the first Fairtrade Carbon Credit distributor out of Norway”, says CHOOOSE-founder Andreas Slettvoll.
We had a chat with Fairtrade about our increased focus on social development and why Fairtrade carbon credits are important to us:
To what extent do you experience that customers emphasize social projects concerning climate compensation, and has this changed over time?
Before selecting a climate program, a majority of our clients seek information about climate change, carbon markets, and the benefits of the projects they can support. While their approach usually comes from a carbon angle, our clients often require projects that provide a high level of social integrity in addition to the environmental benefits. There are different ways of measuring such integrity, and one way is to consider how a carbon project also benefits the local population in terms of social and economic welfare. Our clients rely on certification standards and service providers like CHOOOSE to provide such a guarantee.
What opportunities and challenges do you and / or the industry face?
Despite the current global health situation, the awareness about climate change is increasing day by day, and initiatives offering to support climate action are popping up like mushrooms. One of the challenges for a company like CHOOOSE is to make sure our clients understand what it takes to identify and support high-impact climate action – and that not all climate projects are born equal. Some organizations rightfully mistrust parts of the carbon market for its past sins. Our mission is to make sure we offer the best solutions out there to demonstrate the power of the carbon markets, even if it comes at a higher cost.
We are very pleased that you wanted to become a Fairtrade Carbon Credits distributor. Can you tell us a little about why you chose to offer Fairtrade Carbon Credits?
The carbon markets are complex, and a challenge for many companies is often to allocate time and capacity to fully know and understand all the aspects (e.g. market structure, price level and differences, project technology suitability, social and environmental impacts, etc.). That is why we spend a lot of time building trust and education about the carefully selected projects we provide. We also see that our clients appreciate the comfort and security offered by a credible third-party organization like CHOOOSE. To us, it's essential to provide the most impactful carbon reduction projects available, and FairTrade has certified some of them. We strongly believe in the social justice concept behind the Fairtrade standard, and our clients know the brand: this is a win-win.
What are your expectations for Fairtrade and what do you want to get out of the collaboration?
We hope that partnering with FairTrade will provide enough incentive for Fairtrade to keep promoting Fairtrade Carbon Credits with project developers and our clients to recognize our commitment to the values advocated by FairTrade.
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