Central American country Honduras plans to convert REDD+ units, which are created within a UN framework to aid forest protection, into sovereign carbon credits to raise funds from countries and businesses looking to decrease their carbon footprints.
Similar to Gabon and Ghana, Honduras plans to sell securities based on the emissions that its forests absorb. The country will start a review of the process in January, with the aim to offer at least 5.5 million securities to the REDD+ partnership. The idea is to turn these securities into CO2 credits, said Malcolm Stufkens, Vice Minister for Environment of Honduras.
Created in 2013, REDD+ is a voluntary framework under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. While the mechanism offers an independent verification process, the results cannot be rejected by UNFCCC experts and it is up to the buyer to do their own due diligence.
Central African country Gabon said earlier in 2022 it plans to sell 90 million of its REDD+ units on the voluntary carbon market.
“We are working toward the sovereign credits,” Stufkens said in an interview during COP27. “Honduras hasn’t sold until the moment, but we are ready to push out into the market credits generated pre-2020, and we are working on the presentation of the new units in 2021-2022.”
The Central American country will aim to market the products as Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs), under the general UN CO2 market rules agreed upon at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, Stufkens said.
The Coalition for Rainforest Nations, which includes Honduras, told Bloomberg BNN that the units from Honduras, together with 7.7 million coming from Belize, will likely be issued in Q1 of next year and will be based on reduced emissions. Papua New Guinea is expected to issue over 90 million units with the same aim later in 2023.
Honduras submitted 6.55 million units for approval through REDD+ in 2017 and 8.14 million more in 2020.
Gabon’s Environment Minister, Lee White said that the country plans to sell the CO2 credits for between $25 and $35 each. Stufkens said Honduras wants “a fair price,” and did not elaborate further.