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Fairtrade International developed the Fairtrade Climate Standard, as a way to support smallholders and rural communities to produce Fairtrade Carbon Credits and gain access to the carbon market. Fairtrade Carbon Credit projects enable producers to make their contribution to climate change mitigation while adapting to climate change.
The Fairtrade Climate Standard was developed in collaboration with the Gold Standard, an internationally recognized organization with expertise in climate and development projects. The Fairtrade Climate Standard is an add-on standard to Gold Standard certification of carbon emissions reductions and sustainable development benefits.
Watch a short animation about Fairtrade Carbon Credits.
Principles underlying this standard
The main components of fair and sustainable trading relations in the standard include the following:
- Democracy and transparency: All producer participants in Fairtrade Carbon Credit projects have a voice and vote in the decision-making process of their organization. All terms and conditions of Fairtrade transactions are detailed in contracts signed by the producers and buyers.
- A Fairtrade Minimum Price ensuring the average costs of running the projects are covered. This is an innovative addition to the voluntary carbon market, which provides a safety net to carbon projects.
- Opportunities to adapt: A Fairtrade Premium is paid in addition to the payment for the FCCs, which goes to producer organizations, who can decide how best to invest it to make them and their communities more resilient to climate change.
- Capacity building: The Fairtrade Climate Standard offers producers a way to take a more active role in the carbon projects, through improving their climate change knowledge, developing project and carbon management skills, and taking on the running and development of their own carbon projects over time.
- Labour conditions and environment: Projects are carried out respecting Fairtrade principles related to environmental and labour practices.
- End buyer emissions reductions: Those purchasing Fairtrade Carbon Credits at the end of the supply chain must put in place a credible plan to reduce their emissions and increasingly compensate their emissions with Fairtrade Carbon Credits
To find out what the Fairtrade Minimum Prices and Premiums for Fairtrade Carbon Credits are, see the pricing table.
The Fairtrade Climate Standard applies to: Fairtrade Carbon Credit (FCC) producer organizations; project facilitators, who can support the producer organizations to implement the projects; traders, who buy and sell on the FCCs, and end buyers, who buy the FCCs to compensate their carbon emissions. FCC traders do not need to additionally comply with the Fairtrade Trader Standard; all requirements for all FCC operators, including traders, are in this standard.
Download the Fairtrade Climate Standard
This standard applies to all Fairtrade certified operators producing and trading in Fairtrade Carbon Credits and is valid from 1 October 2015. It will be applicable from 1 January 2016 and will be applied in audits from that date onward.
Fairtrade Carbon Credit projects areas and methodologies
Fairtrade carbon projects focus on one of the following areas:
- Energy efficiency
- Renewable energy
Projects must make use of approved carbon calculation methodologies, as detailed below:
Find Fairtrade Minimum Prices and Premiums