Climate Change Strategy
The Climate Neutral Now Initiative is one of several initiatives launched by the UNFCCC secretariat to increase climate action by engaging non-Party stakeholders (sub-national governments, companies, organizations, individuals). It was launched in 2015 based on a mandate to promote the voluntary use of carbon market mechanisms recognized under the Convention.
It has evolved to become a much wider tool for awareness-raising, capacity building, partnership development, promoting and facilitating the estimation of carbon footprints, the reduction of those footprints, and voluntary compensation (offsetting).
The Climate Neutral Now Initiative encourages and supports organizations and other interested stakeholders to act now in order to achieve a climate neutral world by 2050 as enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
The initiative is NOT a certification scheme for its participants. It is a tool to promote additional voluntary action on climate, and to provide recognition for it. Claims of carbon neutrality, net zero or similar are out of the scope of Climate Neutral Now, even when participation in the initiative can help stakeholders advance in their path to achieve those certifications through suitable standards and processes.
An organization can become a participant by signing the Climate Neutral Now Pledge, following the three steps (Measure, Reduce, Contribute) and reporting on its actions and achievements annually.
Climate change strategy
Carbon Credit Market
A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit a set amount of carbon dioxide or the equivalent amount of a different greenhouse gas (tCO2e).
Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs). One carbon credit is equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide, or in some markets, carbon dioxide equivalent gases.
Carbon trading is an application of an emissions trading approach. Greenhouse gas emissions are capped and then markets are used to allocate the emissions among the group of regulated sources.
The goal is to allow market mechanisms to drive industrial and commercial processes in the direction of low emissions or less carbon intensive approaches than those used when there is no cost to emitting carbon dioxide and other GHGs into the atmosphere.
Since GHG mitigation projects generate credits, this approach can be used to finance carbon reduction schemes between trading partners around the world.
There are also many companies that sell carbon credits to commercial and individual customers who are interested in lowering their carbon footprint on a voluntary basis. These carbon offsetters purchase the credits from an investment fund or a carbon development company that has aggregated the credits from individual projects. Buyers and sellers can also use an exchange platform to trade, which is like a stock exchange for carbon credits.
The quality of the credits is based in part on the validation process and sophistication of the fund or development company that acted as the sponsor to the carbon project. This is reflected in their price; voluntary units typically have less value than the units sold through the rigorously validated Clean Development Mechanism.