New report Decarbonizing Water: Applying the Voluntary Carbon Market toward Global Water Security

March 20, 2024 |

Voluntary Carbon Markets for the Water Sector

The ‘Decarbonizing Water: Applying the Voluntary Carbon Market toward Global Water Security’  report is now available.

Last year, we worked alongside The University of Colorado Boulder’s Mortenson Center in Global Engineering & Resilience on a report that shows how improved water security, climate resilience, and accelerating net zero goals can be achieved by introducing water sector projects to the global voluntary carbon market. The report was commissioned by Sustainable Markets InitiativeWaterAid’s Resilient Water AcceleratorHSBC, VCMI, and Gold Standard

The water sector contributes 10% of global emissions, equivalent to 2 billion tons of CO₂e annually. This is more than double the combined yearly emissions of the aviation and maritime sectors.   Additionally, there are 1.6 billion people who don’t have access to safe drinking water, and 2.8 billion people who don’t have access to safe sanitation.  

According to the research, local water projects that reduce emissions can produce over 1.6 billion tCO2e of carbon credits annually worldwide. As a result,  carbon credit buyers would invest more than $160 billion toward global water security over the course of the next ten years.

Last year, we presented research findings at the COP 28. This year, we are looking forward to working alongside our partners to shed light on the huge potential of using Voluntary Carbon Markets to reduce emissions from the water sector while contributing to the achievement of SDG 6, ‘safe water and sanitation for all’. 

Read more about our water resource management work:

Developing Qatar’s Water Resource Plan

Co-authoring the World Bank’s operational manual: The Use of Performance-Based Contracts for Nonrevenue Water Reduction: Output of the Global Program on Developing Good PBC Practices for Managing NRW

Designing a performance-based Contract for Mexico City’s Water and Sanitation Utility

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