cover image: Quality Assessment of REDD+ Carbon Credit Projects


Quality Assessment of REDD+ Carbon Credit Projects

15 Sep 2023

This study brings together an interdisciplinary team of political and natural ecologists and ecosystem modelers to comprehensively assess the quality of these credits. We assess their effectiveness at reducing deforestation, generating high-quality carbon credits, and protecting forest communities focusing on five key program elements: baselines, leakage, forest carbon accounting, durability, and safeguards. As with other major offset project types, we found that current REDD+ methodologies likelye generate credits that represent a small fraction of their claimed climate benefit. Estimates of emissions reductions were exaggerated across all quantification factors we reviewed when compared to the published literature and our independent quantitative assessment. Safeguard policies, presented as ensuring “no net harm” to forest communities, in practice have been treated as voluntary guidance. When considering all evidence together, our overall conclusion is that REDD+ is ill-suited to the generation of carbon credits for use as offsets. We suggest a number of other measures that private actors can take or support that together can help to reduce tropical deforestation.
carbon offsets carbon trading


Barbara K. Haya, Kelsey Alford-Jones, William R. L. Anderegg, Betsy Beymer-Farris, Libby Blanchard, Barbara Bomfim

Published in
United States of America