Exploring the Potential of Carbon Finance to Supply and Sustain Safe Water

Integrating carbon finance into Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) projects represents an innovative strategy for ensuring sustainable water access for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) conducted an in-depth study in the Amhara region of Ethiopia to evaluate the role of carbon finance in supporting and enhancing WASH programs. This research aimed to not only identify practical and logistical challenges but also to uncover the transformative potential of carbon credit revenues to significantly elevate the scale and sustainability of safe water initiatives, potentially benefiting over 400,000 households.

Key highlights of the study include:

  • Comprehensive Analysis: Examination of various carbon registries and methodologies related to safe water access, solarization of water systems, and integrated water resource management, assessing their implications across technical, economic, social, and environmental dimensions.
  • Insightful Tools: Development of a financial model and decision tool to aid WASH sector actors in evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with carbon finance, facilitating informed decision-making for future projects.
  • Practical Guidance: The study provides actionable recommendations for practitioners, policymakers, donors, investors, and researchers interested in pursuing carbon finance as a viable source of revenue and impact for their WASH interventions.

With the research now published and the corresponding webinar conducted, these resources provide valuable insights and lessons learned from the collaboration between MWA and NatureCo. This study stands as a compelling testament to the potential of carbon finance to drive significant advancements in global water security.

For those interested in delving deeper into the study’s findings and recommendations, the learning document is available, offering a substantial opportunity to explore how carbon finance can significantly contribute to the global WASH agenda. Supported by the vision and dedication of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, this initiative exemplifies a progressive approach to achieving sustainable water solutions globally.

Explore the Executive Summary and Read the Full Learning Paper for detailed insights into this pivotal study.