CO₂ offsetting only has an impact when compensation payments are actually directed straight to climate protection projects. As a non-profit foundation, myclimate guarantees that at least 80 percent of offsetting payments will be used directly in climate protection projects. The remaining maximum 20 percent is needed by the foundation to cover administration and internal costs.
Only projects that meet the globally recognised, highest standards can successfully help protect the climate. So myclimate draws on the strictest, most independent quality standards, like Gold Standard in the energy sector and Plan Vivo in forestry, when selecting and structuring its own climate protection projects. The foundation works closely with experienced and independent partners in the respective countries to implement climate protection projects. These local partners make sure that local projects are realised professionally, and they also regularly review the projects’ impact. In addition, climate protection projects undergo an annual review by another independent, external body.
myclimate supports projects that use renewable energies, realise energy efficiency measures and cut methane emissions, as well as reforestation and new forest initiatives that reduce the pressure on forests and biodiversity «hot spots». Climate protection projects result in lower CO₂ emissions whilst contributing significantly to sustainable development in the region.
Projects in developing and emerging countries are CER and VER projects. These are reviewed by one body recognised by the United Nations and other independent bodies. All energy-related climate protection projects are tested against Gold Standard criteria. Since myclimate believes that fulfilling the specifications as per this standard is only the minimum requirement, the reviews also take into account other, mainly social, factors. VER forestry projects comply with Plan Vivo guidelines, the most well-known and proficient standards in this field, which are supplemented by myclimate’s own strict criteria.
myclimate supports climate protection projects on a service-specific basis. Only emissions reductions that have actually been realised and can be proven over a longer contract term of 7 to 14 years are accounted for in energy projects. Offsetting payments are normally paid out to the supported projects once reductions are realised. The actual contribution amount depends on the volume of climate-impacting emissions saved. Forestry projects are slightly different in that their timelines naturally stretch over a longer span of 30 to 50 years.
myclimate guarantees its customers that emission reductions achieved (= climate donations) through energy projects will be realised at the latest within two years in climate protection projects and will be retired after a maximum of three years. Carbon storage in forests occurs within 10 to 30 years, depending on the project region and tree species. There are comprehensive, special mechanisms in place to monitor the reductions achieved in forestry.
The offsetting mechanism enables myclimate to finance the additional costs that (inevitably) arise from the use of renewable sources of energy in place of fossil fuels. It would be impossible to effectively realise projects without covering these additional costs. The price depends on the size of the project, the technology used and the country where the project is running. myclimate offers the option to offset in two different project portfolios with average prices or in selected specific projects:
- International projects: Offsetting contributions go into myclimate climate protection projects in developing and newly industrialising countries. The projects fullfil the highest standards like Gold Standard in the energy sector or Plan Vivo in forestry and contribute to the UN’s SDGs. Myclimate projects not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also contribute to the social, ecological and economic development of the region.
- Swiss projects: The emissions will be reduced by at least a half in Swiss climate protection projects (FOEN or VER standard), with the remaining proportion in climate protection projects in developing and newly industrialising countries.
- Efficient cook stoves for women in Kenya: The offsetting contribution supports saving and loaning groups in Kenya, so that families can afford efficient cooking stoves. The cooking stoves consume between 40 and 50 percent less firewood, thus reducing deforestation. Thanks to the more efficient combustion process the air quality inside the kitchen is improved and respiratory diseases are prevented.
- Reforestation in Nicaragua: Donations support a reforestation project in Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere. Small-scale farming families are reforesting unused sections of their land with native species. The programme combines practical nature conservation with the creation of new income sources for local families.
For corporate customers with larger offsetting volumes, myclimate offers high-end projects specifically tailored to the customer’s needs. These customers can also work with the foundation to develop a climate protection project.