More than just a carbon project: How clean cooking projects certified under the Gold Standard approach SDG claims


Key Messages

  • An analysis of all clean cooking activities certified under the Gold Standard reveal that improved health (SDG3), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), and responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) are the most claimed non-carbon benefits.
  • Most clean cooking activities measure their SDG contributions by monitoring activities and outputs directly in their control, rather than the broader impacts of clean cooking.
  • The publication of the Gold Standard’s SDG Impact Tool will help to streamline SDG monitoring approaches across certified projects. Most of the projects already certified take divergent approaches to monitoring SDG impacts.
  • The averted disability adjusted life years (ADALYs) methodology relies on a slightly outdated tool to calculate ADALYs. Most of the uncertainty lies in how projects are allowed to measure inputs into the tool.
  • Carbon credit buyers are willing to pay more for credits that also yield SDG benefits but tend not to require rigorous monitoring to confirm benefits. Buyers instead often assume that by the very nature of clean cooking activities that these projects will yield SDG benefits.
  • The number of SDGs impacted is more important to carbon credit buyers than the scale or longevity of the project’s sustainable development impacts.