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Response to criticisms of REDD+ and VERRA

Recent reports have called into question the effectiveness of REDD+ projects, which aim to reduce deforestation and protect forests. These reports have sparked a debate among experts in the field, leading to questions about the methods used to issue carbon credits for these projects.

Greentripper supports certified climate projects in developing countries that meet the highest international standards such as Gold Standard or Verra. Verra - currently the only relevant global standard that certifies REDD+ projects - is heavily criticized. However, in a response Verra says that the conclusions of these studies are incorrect and miscalculate the impact of REDD+ projects.

Verra and Gold Standard were created about 20 years ago. At that time, a few hundred experts were involved in these issues. Today, thousands of NGOs, startups, activists and experts are involved and we need to move forward together.  Far from perfect, Gold Standard & Verra are the only certification bodies that have ever been implemented on a large scale. Let's remember that the voluntary carbon market is still in its adolescence and as it grows, it has its own problems of growth. We can't stop the bus. We have to fix it while we ride on it, otherwise we will never reach our destination in time.

The agroforestry projects that Greentripper supports are selected/developed by our partner  South Pole. In response to the recent allegations, their team of experts will conduct a comprehensive review of all of their REDD+ projects and provide a transparent report on any issues and the data supporting their findings.

In addition, Verra is working to improve the precision of REDD+ baselines by transitioning all REDD+ projects to a single methodology, which is today under development.

We firmly believe in the positive and measurable impact of REDD+ and nature-based solutions, as supported by extensive scientific research. The Kariba REDD+ project, for example, has been one of the most successful forest conservation projects in Zimbabwe, reducing deforestation on an area of 750,000km2 and bringing significant benefits to local communities.

As with any new and innovative climate solutions, it is difficult to predict future deforestation rates. However, the methodologies that are used within the VERRA projects have built-in mechanisms for adjusting carbon credit issuances to match actual deforestation rates over the course of a project's lifetime. In the case of the Kariba project, any early issuances of carbon credits will be balanced out in future years, and will not affect the validity of credits already issued.

While we await government action to address the pressing climate and biodiversity crisis, it is important to recognize the positive impact that voluntary carbon markets can have and work together to make sure that it operates as effectively as possible.

We understand that these issues can be complex and confusing, and we are happy to speak with anyone who has questions or concerns. Don't hesitate to contact us at

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