About the CRF
Offsetting, additionality and double-counting
There is a huge demand amongst UK companies to support carbon reduction projects in the UK. Connecting with consumers and demonstrating a commitment to helping the UK meet its emissions reduction targets are just some of the key reasons for supporting UK projects, however, uncertainty about what can and cannot be claimed as a result of such support has impeded this investment. This is where the CRF can help.
Is it carbon offsetting?
The CRF is not a carbon offsetting scheme. It enables companies to understand the impacts of their investments and make appropriate claims on how they are helping to mitigate climate change. It does not enable the creation of formal carbon credits that can be subtracted from a corporate emissions total.
Carbon reduction projects in the UK cannot formally qualify as carbon offsets, however, some companies wish to better understand the cost-effectiveness of their investment and quantify the carbon savings associated with the projects they support, even if they cannot exclusively ‘claim’ them. This is where the CRF plays a key role.
What is additionality and double-counting?
The creation of a formal carbon credit requires an ability to demonstrate that the project is additional and that the carbon saved by the project is not double-counted. Proving additionality involves demonstrating that any investment in a project has been critical in enabling it to happen. Avoiding double-counting means ensuring that the carbon savings associated with a project are not counted by more than one entity.
High quality offsets pass a number of tests to ensure that any associated carbon savings are additional and have not been double-counted. It is almost impossible for projects in the UK to pass these tests because most UK projects will benefit from a variety of government policies and incentives put in place to help the UK to meet its emissions reduction targets. Therefore, the reduction they achieve will be counted towards the UK’s goals and not viewed as additional to them.
Moreover, the UK government has embraced a national carbon reduction target and maintains national carbon accounts. If the carbon savings resulting from any particular project are also captured in the UK national carbon accounts (and it is likely they will be), it can be argued that the funder of any carbon reduction project has paid for a reduction that the government was obliged to provide anyway.
How the CRF helps
By providing transparent, standardised information on the associated costs and carbon savings of projects and the complicated rules surrounding additionality and double-counting, our aim is for the CRF to encourage investment in UK carbon reduction projects and improve access to funding for project developers.