The project is the first ever carbon credit programme to be registered in Sudan. The Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project, launched in 2007 by Carbon Clear and Practical Action, a UK-based NGO, demonstrates how carbon finance can improve livelihoods in an area of Sudan where climate change, drought and desertification are already a fact of life.

The Low-Smoke Stoves Project creates an opportunity for families in North Darfur to replace their traditional wood and charcoal fires with modern, energy efficient and clean-burning LPG cookstoves. The project has proven popular with low-income households, and the project team has plans to replicate the model elsewhere in the country to bring the benefits of clean energy to tens of thousands more families.

In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the project provides social, economic and health benefits to participating families. According to the World Health Organization, indoor smoke from burning solid fuels can expose women and young children to pollution 100 times higher than acceptable levels. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves notes that cooking with LPG reduces most key pollutants by over 95%, and reduces energy consumption by 50%-70%.

Participating households sign up to a microfinance initiative funded by Carbon Clear and managed by a local community group, the Women’s Development Association Network. The microfinance programme provides loans for families who otherwise would not be able to afford the relatively high initial cost of the LPG stoves and canisters.

Repayment rates are in excess of 90%. Training to run the microfinance programme has also helped the women’s group develop the capacity to launch other initiatives.

In partnership with Practical Action, Carbon Clear aims to deliver 10,000 cookstoves to the communities of El Fasher, Sudan, which will save over 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over 10 years.

Mark Chadwick, CEO of Carbon Clear said:
“We are delighted to have achieved Gold Standard registration for the first carbon credit project in Sudan. I am particularly pleased as this project demonstrates effective local entrepreneurship, supported by carbon finance to improve lives in a very poor region. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and Carbon Clear is committed to delivering innovative climate solutions that reduce emissions while delivering multiple health, economic and social benefits in developing countries.”

Paul Smith-Lomas, International Director from Practical Action said:
“We are really excited that our work achieved the Gold Standard, as it enables us to continue to help poor women and men in Darfur to access affordable energy. Having proven that it is possible in one part of Sudan, we hope to expand our work to other parts of Sudan, and eventually other parts of Africa”.

Adrian Rimmer, CEO of The Gold Standard said:
“A key part of The Gold Standard is to enable and promote the successful implementation of initiatives that deliver verified sustainable and low carbon development to the regions that need it most. Conflict zones are areas that predominantly miss out on climate finance; it’s therefore great to see Carbon Clear embrace such an area and the challenges involved to develop a project that truly makes a difference.”

The Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project is designed to meet the strict requirements of The Gold Standard carbon credit certification process. The Gold Standard has been endorsed by over 80 NGOs worldwide and requires that projects not only reduce carbon emissions but also deliver measurable sustainable development and environmental co-benefits to local communities.

The Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project had its origin in a small pilot project in another part of Sudan that was funded by the Department for International Development. Carbon Clear took the project forward through private investment, a clear example of the successful role businesses can play in efforts to reduce global carbon emissions and improve livelihoods in developing countries. To date the project has been supported entirely through carbon finance, with no charitable grants or government subsidies.

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Contact
Rachel Hunter, Communications Manager +44 (0) 845 838 7564 or rhunter at carbon-clear.com

Notes to Editors
1. The carbon credits issued as a result of the cookstove project are Verified Emission Reduction (VER) credits, which are non-compliance carbon credits. These credits are available to businesses that want to voluntarily offset their carbon emissions.
2. LPG can help the shift towards a low-carbon economy because the fuel features significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, N2O and CH4) than other commercially available fossil fuels such as coal and kerosene, or biomass fuels like firewood, and charcoal.
3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/
4. http://www.cleancookstoves.org/our-work/the-solutions/cookstove-technology.html

Carbon Clear provided 100% of the investment for the efficient cook-stoves project and managed the operational aspects of ensuring the project earned certification to a reputable carbon credit standard. Carbon Clear is a company that was founded to help businesses understand and tackle the challenges posed by climate change. With a client base that includes some of the world’s leading blue chip companies, Carbon Clear helps measure corporate carbon footprints, provides greenhouse gas reduction advice, develops carbon reduction projects, and provides high quality carbon offset credits. www.carbon-clear.com

Practical Action project managed the implementation of the Clean Cookstoves Project on the ground in Sudan. Practical Action offered training and assistance to local employees delivering the project and also worked closely with the community based microfinance organisations funding the purchase of the stoves. Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Through technology Practical Action enables poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions. Thus transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them. Practical Action has worked in Sudan since 1976, and possesses an established track record implementing clean energy and sustainable livelihoods projects in the region. www.practicalaction.org

The Gold Standard is a globally recognised and trusted regulatory framework operated on behalf of Civil Society for the deployment of public and private capital into low carbon and development projects. Every project certified by The Gold Standard must monitor, report and verify carbon savings and sustainable development benefits for local communities. This ‘carbon for development’ philosophy is recognized by governments, business and civil society as the most effective approach. www.cdmgoldstandard.org