WASHINGTON, D.C. | April 11, 2023 ― The U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund and The Rockefeller Foundation today announced the selection of Winrock International, to develop and administer the carbon crediting standard to be employed by the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA).
The ETA is a joint initiative to catalyze private capital to accelerate the transition from fossil fuel to clean power in developing countries. The three partners introduced the ETA’s broad outlines in November during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm el-Sheikh and are undertaking an inclusive process to design the initiative in the lead up to COP 28 this December in Dubai.
Annual clean energy investment must triple to $4.2 trillion by 2030 to keep a 1.5°C limit on warming within reach, according to the International Energy Agency. The ETA will seek to leverage the growing demand for high-quality carbon credits to scale up finance to speed the deployment of clean power and retirement of fossil fuel assets in developing countries. The finance generated will support developing countries in reducing emissions, expanding clean energy access, creating jobs and economic growth, and strengthening adaptation efforts.
Winrock International will collaborate with the ETA partners to develop a jurisdictional-scale crediting standard to generate high-quality carbon credits representing verified greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions achieved through the implementation of ambitious, integrated, sector-wide energy transition strategies in qualifying developing country jurisdictions (e.g., countries, states, regions). The innovative jurisdictional-scale approach will help avoid emissions leakage, ensure GHG reductions are real and additional, and promote climate-aligned power sector policies and investments.
The crediting standard will set out methodologies and procedures addressing issues including crediting baselines, additionality, and monitoring and verification rules, as well as host jurisdiction eligibility criteria addressing governance, accounting, disclosure, and just energy transition strategies and safeguards.
Winrock International, a mission-driven nonprofit organization headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas implements a portfolio of more than 100 agriculture, environment and social development projects in over 40 countries. Through its wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), Winrock International oversees two of the world’s leading carbon crediting programs, the American Carbon Registry (ACR) and the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART). Both issue credits for use in global regulated and voluntary carbon markets.
In parallel with development of the crediting standard, the ETA partners are working to create a coalition of private sector and sovereign government buyers that will make advance commitments to purchase carbon credits meeting the new standard. Agreed terms will establish participation criteria for buyers and for their use of credits acquired through the ETA.
The ETA partners have defined a set of principles to guide the ETA’s design and a High-Level Consultative Group (HLCG) to provide broad input. The HLCG includes intergovernmental, private sector, and civil society leaders, as well as other experts and stakeholders, from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In addition to ongoing input from the HLCG, the partners will consult with a wider array of government, business, and civil society stakeholders and will provide opportunities for broader input, including briefings and listening sessions.
The partners are being supported in the development of the ETA by a strong team of experts and institutions, with lead coordination provided by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Work across five focus areas is being led by experts associated with a range of organizations: Winrock International (standard guidance); Climate Policy Initiative (CPI; finance mobilization and integration); the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ; investment structuring and contract terms); C2ES (buyer participation); and EDF (just transition and safeguards).
The Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Rockefeller Foundation are collaborating for the purpose of developing the ETA as an independent initiative. In designing the ETA, the partners will seek broad alignment with evolving best-practice standards, including those of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), the Voluntary Carbon Markets Initiative (VCMI), and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM).
To express interest in the ETA, please contact: ETA@rockfound.org.
About the Bezos Earth Fund
The Bezos Earth Fund is a $10 billion grant commitment by Jeff Bezos to fund scientists, activists, NGOs and others to help drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030 — the date by which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved. For more information, visit us at bezosearthfund.org.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We work to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunity universal and sustainable. Our focus is on scaling renewable energy for all, stimulating economic mobility, and ensuring equitable access to health care and nutritious food. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.
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