making the carbon market work for poor communities


There are dozens of different techniques that can be used for starting projects that generate carbon offsets. The most used technologies that contribute to sustainable development of poor communities are listed below.



Biogas can be produced from manure from cows by using an anaerobic digester, and can be used for cooking and heating. Biogas ensures easy access to energy, which brings an important improvement in quality of life.

It replaces other non-renewable energy sources such as wood or paraffin, eliminating indoor air pollution and improving health conditions. It also reduces pressure on forests and other natural resources. The slurry can be used as fertilizer to increase crop production.

Fuel efficient woodstoves


Fuel efficient woodstoves are an improved domestic energy solution for households that use wood as energy source.

Replacing traditional wood stoves or open fires with efficient woodstoves makes measurable contribution to sustainable development of the poor.

It reduces indoor air pollution and improves health. It also combats poverty and the depletion of natural resources.

Low carbon farming

Vegetable garden

A shift to more sustainable agricultural methods and practices can lead to a reduction in costs and improvement of soil carbon content.

A strategy can for example entail reduced tillage, anaerobic composting, using organic fertilizers, infield rainwater harvesting, and inter- and multicropping. Agriculture can become more sustainable and environmentally sound.


Planting a tree

Afforestation and reforestation projects focus on natural carbon sinks, such as forests and soil. Deforestation accounts for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions.

Besides that, communities are often depended on natural resources such as forests. Planting of trees contributes to quality of life of communities and fighting climate change.

Solar energy

Solar water heater

Solar power is a form of renewable energy that can be used to generate electricity or hot water. Photovoltaic lamps are the most common example of a practice where solar electricity is used in a poor household. It can be implemented as a carbon offset project if a household is not connected to the grid. It provides lighting, but also empowers the households in terms of safety, schooling, and self-respect.

Solar water heaters are an alternative for conventional geysers. It is a well established technology in parts of Southern Africa. It reduces the use of non-renewable energy sources used for heating water. Advantages include access to hot water, cost saving, and environmental benefits.