Frequently asked questions

1. FAQ for Purchasers (users who want to purchase certified emission reductions - CERs)

2. FAQ for Providers (users who offer certified emissions reductions - CERs)

3. General Questions

4. User Complaint Resolution Policy

 

FOR PURCHASERS

 Purchasing certified emission reductions (CERs) for cancellation

 

Why use this platform? Why cancel certified emission reductions (CERs)?

Certified emission reductions (CERs) are earned by greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation projects in developing countries after a rigorous verification process managed by the UN Climate Change secretariat. By purchasing and cancelling CERs through this platform, you claim their environmental benefit. The CERs are put out of circulation, blocking them for further use. In this way, you are responding to the challenge of climate change and helping our society move closer to global climate neutrality (zero net impact on the climate). In addition, you are supporting worthy projects that bring sustainable development benefits to developing countries.

To find out more, visit Climate Neutral Now here: Why offset? Climate Neutral Now

What does “voluntary cancellation” or “cancellation” of CERs mean?

CERs are recorded and tracked in electronic databases know as emissions registries. The CERs offered on this platform are recorded and tracked in the clean development mechanism (CDM) registry operated by the UN Climate Change secretariat. Voluntary cancellation, also referred to as cancellation, is the process in the CDM registry by which CERs are taken out of circulation, preventing any further use. It is similar to destroying them or marking them so they can no longer be used.

 

What are certified emission reductions or CERs?

Certified emission reductions or CERs are electronic certificates issued for greenhouse gas emission reductions from clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities or programmes of activities (PoAs) in accordance with the CDM rules and requirements. Each CER is equivalent to one metric tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2e) avoided or removed from the atmosphere.

The environmental benefit of CERs can be claimed to offset or compensate your own greenhouse gas emissions, among other uses.

 

What is the clean development mechanism or CDM?

The clean development mechanism (CDM) is one of the flexible mechanisms that developed countries can use in meeting their targets under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CDM allows the implementation of projects that avoid or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. For each tonne of emissions that is removed or avoided, the CDM issues one CER subject to international verification process.

CDM projects are set out to achieve two goals: (a) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and (b) to support sustainable development in developing countries.

 

What is offsetting of emissions?

Offsetting of emissions is the act of claiming the environmental benefit of greenhouse gas mitigation activities in order to compensate for unavoidable emissions elsewhere.

The environmental benefit of mitigation activities is represented in offset certificates. The offset certificates issued by the clean development mechanism (CDM) are the certified emission reductions (CERs). Each CER is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) avoided or removed from the atmosphere.

By using CERs, emissions are offset. CERs can be used towards compulsory emissions reduction targets or for voluntary purposes. This platform supports voluntary offsetting.

Technically, the offsetting takes place in the CDM registry database which records the use of CERs though cancellation-type transactions. A cancellation transaction, as the name suggests, makes CERs void so that they cannot be used for any other purpose.

Offsetting funds the implementation of CDM projects in developing countries, bringing sustainable development and a variety of socio-economic benefits.


How does offsetting with CERs contribute to climate action?

Climate neutrality is the zero sum impact on the atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve climate neutrality, we must measure and reduce our emissions. But even with our best efforts, daily activities and business operations will result in some unavoidable emissions. This is why offsetting is key to climate neutrality until such time as the energy for our activities can be generated from clean sources.

Offsetting is not a way to avoid taking action. Where emissions cannot be entirely eliminated, offsetting demonstrates a commitment to greenhouse gas management while society works toward climate neutrality in the second half of the 21st century.


Are CERs trusted offsets? How are CERs generated?

UN-certified offsets, also known as certified emission reductions (CERs) or carbon credits, are generated from CDM projects that reduce GHG emissions via a variety of methods. These projects can, amongst other approaches:

  • REPLACE the use of dirty fossil fuels with clean renewable energy (wind, hydro, solar, biomass);
  • REDUCE energy consumption and the use of fossil fuels through energy efficiency measures (clean cooking stoves, energy efficient light bulbs);
  • CAPTURE already released carbon in trees and other plants (reforestation and forest regeneration projects), amongst other approaches.

CDM projects adhere to strict technological standards and are rigorously scrutinized through an international monitoring, reporting and verification process.

CDM offers a robust portfolio of CERs to choose from. With more than 7,500 projects in over 100 developing countries, offsets are available to help meet a wide variety of sustainability and social responsibility objectives.

CDM projects have been credited with avoiding more than 1.5 billion tonnes of GHG emissions.


Can I purchase CERs for purposes other than voluntary cancellation?

No. The platform only offers the option of purchasing offsets for voluntary cancellation. The platform is not an exchange and only enables the use of offsets for a voluntary cause.


Will I own the CERs after my purchase has been completed?

No. You are purchasing the cancellation of CERs that you have selected. The provider of the CERs does not transfer legal ownership to you. Instead, the CERs are cancelled (put out of circulation, blocking them for further use) and you receive a certificate for the voluntary cancellation.


Will I get a certificate for the cancellation of the CERs?

Yes. You will receive a digital certificate (an attestation) of the purchase of the voluntary cancellation of CERs to the email address you provided on the platform. This attestation will show the name of the beneficiary to whom the certificate is presented and the reason of the offsetting. The attestation will be sent out within 2 working days after your purchase has been completed.


Can I indicate the reason why I am purchasing CERs in the certificate?

Yes. When you check out your order, you will be asked to indicate the reason for the purchase. You can select between a series of standard options, or you can provide your unique reason in the text box. In the second checkout screen, you can use the option “Show attestation preview” to see how your final certificate will look like.

 

Can I choose the recipient of the certificate?

The platform is configured to issue the certificate in the name of the purchaser. If you register as a company user or enter a company address, it would be the company’s name displayed on the certificate. Pay attention to the first line in the address box in the second checkout screen. The name included in that first line will be displayed on the certificate. You can modify this first line directly in the checkout screen by using the plus sign next to the address box. Use the option “Show attestation preview” (in the same checkout screen) to see how your final certificate will look like.


Can I cancel CERs which are located in the registry of Annex I countries under the UNFCCC, such as the European Union registry?

No. Only CERs located in the CDM Registry can be cancelled through the platform.


Is there any cost or fee to use the platform?

No. The use of the platform is free of charge.

Making payments


What methods of payment are available?

You may use:

  1. PayPal account;
  2. Credit or debit card (this option is also supported by PayPal but does not require you to have a PayPal account);
  3. Bank transfer.


The recommended payment method is through a PayPal account. This is the most secure and simple method which results in completing the transaction online.

If you use a credit or debit card, please enter all details very carefully (all fields must be completed) in the requested format. PayPal does not indicate any problems with the payment details you enter nor does it indicate any error it may detect. You will simply be re-directed to the initial payment screen to repeat the entry.

If you choose a bank transfer payment, including when this is the only available method for the purchase, you should receive an email from the provider containing their bank account details within two working days after placing and confirming your purchase order.. Bank transfer fees may be applicable and may vary depending on the terms and conditions of the banks involved in the transaction. As a purchaser, you are requested to cover all bank charges. Discrepancies or bank fees sharing may be agreed directly with the provider to ensure the payment is accepted. You will receive a confirmation of your purchase when you complete an order and a confirmation of your payment when the provider has marked the offer of CERs as “Paid” by electronic mails to the email address you have provided on the platform.

IMPORTANT:

UNFCCC is not a party to the CER cancellation contract between purchaser and provider. Any dispute arising with regard to a purchase transaction must be resolved according to the terms and conditions of use for the platform (see 10. Dispute Resolution and Immunities of the terms and conditions of use: https://offset.climateneutralnow.org/conditions-of-use )

The payment gateway operator or a financial intermediary (such as a bank), depending on the payment method, is a third party to the CER cancellation contract. Accordingly, UNFCCC does not accept any liability for any acts or omissions of the payment gateway operator or the financial intermediary.


My PayPal account is taking time to confirm my payment, what is the problem?


Your PayPal account is linked to a bank account and/or debit/credit card. PayPal applies complex security checks to each transaction and it is not unusual for PayPal to put a transaction on hold until the checks are fulfilled. The so called ECHECKs are typically completed within 5 working days. You should be able to verify a transaction status in your PayPal account transaction log. Once the transaction is confirmed by PayPal, you will receive the attestation for your climate action within 1 working day. In case of any doubt, please contact us at goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int

 

Creating a new account


I cannot create a new account. Why?

Is it possible that you have already used the email address that you are using to create the new account? In this case, the system will not allow you to use that account again. Please contact us at goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int if you face this problem.

 

How to terminate a registered account?

To request a registered account to be closed, please send an e-mail to: goclimateneutralno@unfccc.int .

 

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FOR PROVIDERS

 Offering CERs

 

What is the benefit for me if I offer CERs for cancellation on the platform?

The platform is a channel for offering your CERs to the general public. The UNFCCC secretariat will promote the platform among a variety of stakeholders through an initiative called Climate Neutral Now, exposing your CERs to a wider group of potential purchasers.


Is there any cost or fee to use the platform?

No. The use of the platform is free of charge. The only fee is the one charged by the payment gateway (PayPal).


Can I select the price at which I offer my CERs?

Yes. You will select the price for your CERs. You can select different prices for different blocks of CERs if you wish (from different issuances).


Can I change the price of the CERs I have offered?

Yes. You can log in to your account at any time and change the price of the CERs that you have offered. To do that you need to cancel the existing offer and publish a new offer with a different price.

You will not be able to cancel any offer for which an order is under processing. You can retry later (if the order is completed) or contact us at: goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int


Can I offer different blocks of CERs at different prices?

Yes. You can select different prices for different blocks of CERs if you wish, by creating multiple offers with different blocks of CERs. However, you can create only one offer per block of CERs for the entire or reduced quantity of the block.


Are CERs from CP1 and CP2 (commitment period 1 and 2 of the Kyoto Protocol) eligible?

Yes. They are both eligible. There is currently no limit for CP1 CERs.


Can I offer only a fraction of the CERs that I have in the CDM Registry account(s)?

Yes. You can select the quantity of CERs that you want to offer. You can offer all of your CERs or only a fraction. You can make one offer per block of CERs.


Can I offer CERs if the share of proceeds (SoP) is not paid yet?

No. SoP must be paid in order to offer the CERs on the platform. SoP partial payment is possible in certain cases. To check if you qualify for SoP partial payment, contact us at: goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int


Can I offer CERs before they have been issued, and ask for issuance once they are sold?

No. CERs must be issued and share of proceeds paid before they are offered on the platform.


Can I offer CERs which are located in the registry of Annex I countries (for example the Swiss registry)?

No. Only CERs located in the pending account or permanent holding accounts of the CDM Registry can be offered through the platform.


Can I offer CERs for purposes other than voluntary cancellation? Can CERs be transferred to accounts in other registries?

No. The platform only offers the option of voluntary cancellation.


Will my CERs be transferred from the account in the CDM Registry to my account in the platform?

No. The CERs remain in the account of the CDM registry. The platform will only map and show the CERs that you have in the CDM registry, allowing you to offer some or all of the CERs. The account on the platform is NOT a holding account.

When a payment is completed, the platform will instruct the CDM registry to voluntarily cancel the corresponding amount of CERs.

You will see a reduced availability of CERs on your respective offer and your holding in the CDM registry will also be reduced for the same amount of CERs cancelled.


How can I apply for a user account to offer CERs?

Focal Points for scope (a) (as per the Modalities of Communication (MOC) statement) or Permanent Holding Account representatives should send an e-mail to goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int.


Receiving payments


What methods are available to receive my payments?

The platform uses the PayPal system to process payments from purchasers. A purchaser must have a PayPal account, or use credit cards to pay without a PayPal account.

As a provider of CERs, you must use your existing PayPal account to receive your payments, or you can create a new PayPal account. We recommend that you request a business account, which is free of charge.

IMPORTANT: Your PayPal account should be enabled to receive international funds transfers.

There is also a possibility to receive the proceeds through bank transfer. If you wish bank transfer payment method to be enabled for you or to receive detailed information on the process, please contact us at: goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int

IMPORTANT FOR BANK TRANSFERS:

Steps in the process that require your action:

  1. Upon order confirmation, you will be requested via email to provide the purchaser with your bank account details as soon as possible but no later than 2 working days. You will also have to mark the order as being in progress;
  2. Upon receipt of payment in your bank account, you will mark the order as paid.

Points to note:

  • You can set a minimum limit for your bank transfer payments;
  • UNFCCC in not a party to the CER cancellation contract between purchaser and provider. Any dispute arising with regard to a purchase transaction must be resolved according to the terms and conditions of use for the platform (see 10. Dispute Resolution and Immunities of the terms and conditions of use: https://offset.climateneutralnow.org/conditions-of-use ).

 

Eligibility to offer CERs on the online platform


Who can use the platform to offer CERs?

Any focal point for scope (a) (as per the Modalities of Communication (MOC) statement) or Permanent Holding Account representative with projects/PoAs that have CERs in the pending account or in a permanent holding account (PHA) of the CDM registry, with the share of proceeds (SoP) paid, are eligible to use the platform to offer CERs.


If I issue CERs in the future, will I be able to use the platform?

Yes, if your project issues CERs and the share of proceeds (SoP) is paid, you are eligible to use the platform to offer those CERs.

SoP partial payment is possible in certain cases. To check if you qualify for SoP partial payment, contact us at: goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int


Can a regular project participant, who is NOT the focal point, offer CERs?

Project participants (PPs) with permanent holding accounts in the CDM registry can apply for an account on the platform. Other project participants who hold CERs in the pending account of the CDM registry can use the platform through the focal point for scope (a) as per the Modalities of Communication (MOC) statement.


Any PP from a non-Annex I country can apply with the CDM registry for a permanent holding account (PHA) to receive CERs. Once the CERs are forwarded to this PHA, the PP who becomes the account representative can apply for an account on the platform.


What is my role on the platform as a focal point of a project/PoA ?

As focal point (FP) for scope (a) (as per the Modalities of Communication (MOC) statement), you manage the account on the platform for CER holdings in the pending account of the CDM registry. You also communicate to the UNFCCC secretariat those project(s)/PoA(s) from which you wish to offer CERs and the secretariat will map (connect) your platform account to the respective project/PoA reference number(s).

As FP, you can than see your CER quantities on the platform and create and modify offers as you wish.

 


Other requirements to offer CERs on the Online Platform

If I offer CERs through the platform, can I also offer them through another channel?

Yes, you can offer your CERs for sale through other channels. There is no exclusivity requirement on the platform. However, if you sell CERs that are on offer on the platform through another channel, such as a negotiated deal, you must first withdraw your offer from the platform and then submit a forwarding request to the CDM registry through the regular channel. If your block of CERs has a sufficient number of CERs to cover your current platform offer and your forwarding request, you do not need to withdraw your offer from the platform.

IMPORTANT: In the event of a simultaneous sale of CERs offered on the platform through another channel, any orders in progress at the time of the withdrawal of the offer from the platform would have to be fulfilled first.


Am I obliged to use the Sustainable Development Co-benefits Tool (the SD tool) to be able to offer my CERs through the platform?

No. The use of the SD tool is voluntary. However, a publication of a SD tool report it is highly recommended to increase the attractiveness of your CERs. You can access the SD tool here


If I offer my CERs through the platform, can I request voluntary cancellation of the same CERs through a regular request for voluntary cancellation?

Yes, this is possible. Please note that if your block of CERs has sufficient number of CERs to cover your current platform offer and regular voluntary cancellation request, you do not need to withdraw your offer from the platform.

 


Administrative requirements


For the cancellation process of CERs through the platform, will I need to submit the original signed cancellation request to the CDM registry?

No. Providers of CERs do NOT have to submit the original signed cancellation request to the CDM registry. The process of cancellations through the platform is automated.


Will I be able to check the status of the transactions that involve my CERs?

Yes. You can check the status of transactions and perform searches on them by logging into your account on the platform.


Would it be possible to do a background check of the purchaser for “know your client” purposes?

Once a transaction (payment) is confirmed on the platform, the system will provide you with the contact details of the purchaser for you to conduct the background check. This is similar to how eBay handles “know your client” requirements.


Will CERs be cancelled immediately after payment, or will the cancellation happen before payment has been received?

The cancellation of the CERs will happen after the payment transaction has been confirmed by the payment system (PayPal) or by yourself (in case of bank transfer payment). The completion of the voluntary cancellation transaction and the delivery of the certificate of cancellation is expected to take up to 2 working days at the maximum.

 

Pictures and descriptions of the projects on the platform


Can I select the picture and project description that I want to be displayed for my CERs and projects on the platform?

Yes, this is possible. Submitting project pictures and description are both mandatory requirements. The description of your project should be accurate and consistent with information submitted to the CDM Executive Board under the project cycle procedure and your picture(s) should be an actual presentation of your project.


You should contact goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int to submit your proposed description and pictures. The following instructions should be followed:
• Project/PoA description: no more than 500 words long.
• Pictures: 800x600 pixels minimum, and in relation 4x3.


Can I indicate if my project is also certified under the Gold Standard or other voluntary standards?

Yes. You can voluntarily indicate this in the project description field. You should contact goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int to request that your description is included.


 

Purchasing CERs for cancellation from other providers


Can I purchase CERs for cancellation from other providers in the platform?

Yes. If you are an individual who is 18 years or older you can purchase the cancellation of CERs on the platform as a private person or as a representative of your organization. However, it is not possible to take ownership of CERs offered on the platform by another provider

 

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General Questions

 

Who can use the platform to purchase the cancellations of CERs?

Any individual 18 years of age and older can purchase the cancellation of CERs on the platform as a private person or as a representative of an organization.


Contact for support


Please contact goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int for other queries.

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User Complaint Resolution Policy

 

Problem with an order (for Purchasers)

If something goes wrong with an order, the first step is to contact us (see below for specific instructions). Depending on what the problem is, we may ask to you to contact the Provider directly. You will need to use your best efforts to settle any problem between you and the Provider amicably. If you are unable to reach an agreement on your own, you may be able to escalate your problem to a claim in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Use.

If the problem is a technical problem with the platform, we will investigate and keep you informed about how we are dealing with the problem.

Contact us at goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int with the details of the problem and include ‘Problem with order’ in the subject line.

 

Problem related to certificate (for Purchasers)

In the unlikely event that you have paid for CERs for cancellation and have not received a certificate within 72 hours after your payment transaction is completed and confirmed, contact us at goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int and include ‘Certificate not received’ in the subject line.

We note that the reason you give for purchasing CERs for cancellation, which appears on your certificate, cannot be changed after purchase.

 

Problem listing an item (for Providers)

If you have any problems listing an item, the first step is to refer to the quick guide provided to you by us during the initial registration process. If you are unable to resolve the problem by referring to the quick guide, contact as at goclimateneutralnow@unfccc.int and include ‘Problem with listing’ in the subject line.

 

Problem making or receiving payment through PayPal (for Purchasers and Providers)

If you have a problem making or receiving a payment through PayPal for the cancellation of CERs, you will need to contact PayPal directly in accordance with its claims and dispute resolution policy.

 

Disclaimer on images used on this website

Unless otherwise stated, some images used on this site are for illustrative purposes only and may not depict actual projects.

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