Black carbon finance study group

CCAC Funded
Implementing partners

Black carbon is a major contributor to near-term climate change and a dangerous air pollutant. It increases glacier melting, harms public health, disrupts weather patterns and reduces food security. Despite the rapid and multiple benefits from black carbon emission reduction and available abatement measures, black carbon mitigation projects have had a difficult time attracting private and public finance.

At its high-level assembly in September 2013, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition commissioned the Black Carbon Finance Study Group (BCFSG) “to review potential strategies for supporting financial flows toward projects that can significantly reduce black carbon emissions.” Consultations with CCAC Partners further specified the BCFSG’s mandate: to develop financing mechanisms that can deliver results in the near term to demonstrate and build momentum for scalable approaches to black carbon finance. As a co-leader of the CCAC Finance Initiative, the World Bank was designated to lead and facilitate the BCFSG.


The BCFSG convened between July 2014 and April 2015, bringing together 43 international experts with scientific, policy, and finance backgrounds to design approaches to catalyzing investment in black carbon abatement. Through this process, the BCFSG identified both overarching and specific opportunities for action and formulated strategies for achieving results in the near term.

The World Bank coordinated closely with other CCAC initiatives and the Secretariat – especially with the heavy-duty diesel and the household energy initiatives. The BCFSG report was launched at a meeting of the CCAC’s High Level Assembly of the CCAC in Geneva in May 2015.


The Black Carbon Finance Study Group’s findings have led to practical applications. For instance, the World Bank is assessing the use of new performance measurements developed by the Gold Standard Foundation on the climate impacts of black carbon from cooking stoves, in order to attract results-based financing.

The Gold Standard methodology “Quantification of climate-related emission reductions of Black Carbon and Co-emitted Species due to the replacement of less efficient cookstoves with improved efficiency cookstoves” was first released in 2015. The black carbon methodology provides approaches to quantify and monitor emissions reductions of black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants achieved by projects focused on improved cookstove technologies or clean burning fuels – accounting net reduction in the short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The methodology presents a cost-effective and robust framework for quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification of black carbon emissions.

The Gold Standard methodology is the first publicly available black carbon accounting methodology for clean cookstoves that quantifies the net climate impacts based on field measurement of BC and co-emitted species emissions. In parallel to ongoing research in this area, several efforts have been made to develop methodologies to quantify the black carbon emissions; for example, woodstove for heating and transport sector.