Surya: Climate Credit Pilot Project

Many households make their own stoves out of mud or other natural resources, so you may ask yourself: how could rural individuals below the poverty line purchase a new stove when they could just make one for free? In collaboration with Nexleaf, Project Surya is now embarking on a major pilot project to explore if rewarding women directly with funds from carbon markets, for using improved stoves and solar lighting, will significantly enhance adoption.

Nexleaf Analytics' cookstove usage and black carbon sensing technologies will be utilitzed to track cookstove usage and performance in households participating in the pilot.

This hasn’t been possible before because many carbon financing groups extrapolate based on a small % of households and establish an average payment for all households. This system may work for the average-performing households, but what about the households using their clean cookstoves above and below average? Nexleaf’s sensor makes it possible to create an individual rewards system through monitoring and verifying usage without having to overwhelm a family with home visits for data collection.

What is new about this pilot?

  • Rewarding women directly with funds produced by climate credits.
  • Expanding estimates of carbon offsets to include, in addition to CO2 mitigation, the Short Lived Climate Pollutants (black carbon, methane and ozone).

The need: Improved stoves, which significantly reduce smoke indoors and outdoors, are currently too expensive. Improved solid-fuel, biogas and solar stoves are available on the market, but typically range from $50 to $90 USD. This is not affordable for the more than 2.5 billion people living under $2 a day, who rely on rudimentary cooking methods. Making matters worse, once distribution, maintenance and fuel supply are taken into account, the actual cost of the stoves increases further. A new approach is needed.

Cook stoves release carbon dioxide (CO2), the major global warming gas. In addition, cook stoves and kerosene lamps also release SLCPs which have warming potentials much larger than that of CO2. Current climate credit markets such as carbon credits focus mainly on CO2 mitigation. Why not have carbon markets account for mitigation of all of the warming pollutants?

The Surya Approach: The potential for each improved cook stove and solar lamp to mitigate climate change is dramatically larger when taking SLCPs into account. Inclusion of SLCPs in carbon credits can potentially subsidize the purchase and maintenance of the improved stoves and lamps.