CCA-led Clean Cooking & Climate Consortium Makes Significant Progress in Developing Clean Cooking Carbon Methodology
The Clean Cooking & Climate Consortium (4C)—a group of partners convened by the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA)—is developing a new methodology for crediting emissions reductions from cooking projects, a critical step in strengthening carbon markets for these projects. Representatives from over a dozen organizations, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gold Standard, Verra, and many others, met in Washington, DC, in July to delve into technical details, test assumptions, and strengthen the new methodology based on expert feedback.
“We all know the multiple negative impacts of cooking with solid fuels, from climate, ambient air pollution, and land degradation, to health, gender, and livelihoods,” said John Mitchell, Coordinator for Household Energy and Clean Air at the EPA. “Funding from the carbon markets has been key to the rapid expansion of the use of clean fuels and cleaner biomass stoves that reduce these impacts. It is our intention that this new methodology will drive integrity, credibility, and trust in the cooking and carbon markets, attracting more funding to the sector and improving the lives of people around the world.”
This workshop was the latest convening hosted by 4C to seek feedback on its methodology development. 4C also held in-person meeting at the Clean Cooking Forum in Accra, Ghana in October 2022, a virtual meeting in May 2023, and a meeting for project developers in June 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. 4C also aligns its work with the working groups under CCA’s Responsible Carbon Finance for Clean Cooking Initiative.
“We have reached a major milestone in developing a new carbon methodology that ensures the integrity, transparency, and accountability of credits from cooking projects,” said Donee Alexander, Chief Science and Learning Officer at CCA. “Getting this methodology right is vital for the clean cooking ecosystem, and we are working with a range of critical partners to address the challenges and opportunities that may come up in transitioning from existing methodologies.”
4C ultimately intends for the new methodology to become the standard for cooking projects under Article 6.2 and Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement, as well as in the voluntary carbon market. Indeed, all stakeholders expressed strong support for 4C’s proposed modular and tiered approach, which includes realistic default values and incentives for more direct measurement. Participants also agreed on the importance of developing standardized baselines and a common data platform that provides a range of baseline default values that can be used across different regions and fuel use groups for clean cooking carbon projects. This will increase accuracy and decrease logistical and financial burdens for project developers.
In addition, attendees agreed that the entire ecosystem would benefit from having a uniform methodology for crediting emissions reductions from cooking projects, with standards bodies aligned on default values. There was also consensus that all default values and parameters must be based in the latest science to ensure buyer confidence in the clean cooking carbon market going forward.
“Harmonization in methodological approaches will encourage support from project developers and other stakeholders,” said Vikash Talyan, Senior Director of Standard Development and Innovation at Gold Standard. “The sector requires the latest scientific information to be harmonized, and unified approaches that are endorsed by subject matter experts and leading standards bodies. Adopting consensus-based approaches where knowledge gaps exist is crucial to achieving this harmonization.”
Importantly, the workshop provided an opportunity to discuss updates to fraction of the non-renewable biomass (fNRB) default values set to be released in the coming months. The current UNFCCC global average default value of 30% will be replaced by more granular regional, national, and sub-national values.
As a next step, 4C will further flesh out the methodology’s module components and use the platform provided by Africa Climate Week, taking place September 4-8, 2023, in Nairobi and hosted by the Government of Kenya, to solicit further feedback from key stakeholders.