For almost a decade, Evidence Action has generated and sold carbon credits to finance our Dispensers for Safe Water program, working with both the CDM and a voluntary carbon offset standard known as the Gold Standard for the Global Goals.
As the world watched the COP21 negotiations in Paris, we were paying close attention to the discussions on the future of carbon markets. While not a perfect system, the generation of carbon credits is one of the hallmarks of Dispensers for Safe Water, allowing the program to become self-sustaining and your donation to go further.
Evidence Action’s Dispensers for Safe Water program currently provides access to sustainable safe drinking water services to about two million people. This reach will extend to four million by the end of this year and 25 million by 2018. Scaling up this program, which is proven to be highly effective, takes new and innovative financing approaches. We are committed to providing sustainable services. How do we do this?
We do not recover costs directly via user fees in our Dispensers for Safe Water program. There is rigorous evidence in the rural water sector, and in preventative health more generally, that charging user fees screens out many people as people are not willing to pay for very much at all for these services and there are many competing demands in families for scarce resources.
Even at an anticipated low cost of $0.50 per person per year at scale, we needed to put in place the necessary financing to ensure that dispensers can be maintained and refilled with chlorine over the long-term.
One option that helps us achieve our dual commitments to sustainable services and zero user fees is revenue from carbon credits. How do they work?