New effort launched to quantify and monitor black carbon emissions

by Kristine Smukste - 31 March, 2015
New methodology for quantifying and monitoring emissions of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Initiative to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) from Household Cooking and Domestic Heating has funded the development of a pioneering methodology for quantifying and monitoring emissions of black carbon and other SLCPs. The methodology, developed and launched this week by the Gold Standard Foundation of Geneva, Switzerland, will help drive finance into projects that provide an immediate and measurable impact on mitigating climate change at the local level.

The new methodology has been developed in collaboration with Project Surya, the Energy and Research Institute (TERI), the Global Alliance for Clan Cookstoves, Nexleaf Analytics and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), with extensive input from experts in the scientific and development finance communities. It quantifies the emissions of black carbon and other SLCPs when wood, charcoal, animal dung or coal is burned for cooking. The methodology also measures the reductions of these harmful emissions when improved cookstove technologies or clean burning fuels are introduced.


Black carbon, seen as soot, is the unwanted byproduct of burning diesel, coal, firewood, or crop residue. It is categorised as a “short-lived” climate pollutant but its negative impacts are both fast-acting and extensive—black carbon increases the melting of ice and glaciers, harms public health, reduces food security and disrupts weather patterns. Recent studies show that black carbon may be responsible for close to 20% of the planet’s warming, making it the second highest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide.

Household cooking and heating are a major source of harmful black carbon emissions. The CCAC Initiative to Reduce SLCPs from Household Cooking and Domestic Heating aims to speed up reductions in SLCP emissions through high-level advocacy, support for new finance mechanisms, new research, and development of standards and testing protocols to provide clear criteria for evaluating emissions reductions for improved cookstoves, heatstoves and fuels.

The challenge for implementing clean cookstoves at scale lies in finance, as the technologies are often unaffordable to families in the developing world. This first-of-its-kind methodology provides a verified outcome that can be used in a “results-based finance” funding scheme to drive investment into these much needed climate and development initiatives, delivering immediate climate change mitigation whilst improving health and livelihoods for local communities.


For further information please contact:

Claire Willers

Marketing & Communications, the Gold Standard Foundation, Geneva

Email: claire.willers [at]

Tel: +41 78 947 74 94