Learning Paper: Carbon Credits for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Interventions

The following provides a concise summary of the comprehensive study conducted by the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) in collaboration with NatureCo, with generous support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, exploring the integration of carbon credits into Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) projects. For readers seeking an in-depth understanding of the feasibility, challenges, and potential impacts of leveraging carbon finance within the WASH sector, the full report offers extensive insights, analysis, and recommendations. To access the complete study and benefit from the detailed findings and strategic guidance it provides, please click on the link below to open or download the report. This summary aims to highlight key points and takeaways, serving as an introduction to the broader discussions and conclusions detailed in the full document.

1. Introduction

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects can benefit from incorporating carbon credit mechanisms, which can help them address the growing climate challenges and build sustainable and resilient community infrastructure. This summary provides key insights from the comprehensive learning paper “Carbon Credits for WASH Interventions,” which examines the mutual benefits of combining carbon finance and WASH programs. As environmental sustainability becomes a global priority, this paper explores the possibilities, advantages, and strategic considerations of using carbon credits to support WASH initiatives.

Carbon credits, which represent the reduction, removal, or avoidance of 1 ton of carbon dioxide emissions, have become a vital tool in the global response to climate change. The learning paper analyzes how these environmental financial instruments can not only promote sustainable development but also potentially fund the transition towards climate-resilient WASH systems. By accessing carbon markets, WASH projects can generate new revenue streams, enhancing their implementation and impact.

The paper covers the basic concepts of carbon markets, the creation of carbon credits from WASH projects, and the intricate dynamics of these interventions within the carbon finance landscape. An important part of this analysis is the understanding of how WASH initiatives can meet the eligibility criteria for carbon credits, overcoming obstacles such as suppressed demand and ensuring the additionality of projects. This summary emphasizes these essential areas, offering a simplified overview while inviting readers to refer to the learning paper for complete details and nuanced discussions.

For stakeholders in the WASH sector—from program implementers to donors—this summary serves as an introduction to the potential of carbon credits in improving the sustainability and climate resilience of WASH interventions. By clarifying the opportunities and strategic approaches within this innovative financing mechanism, it aims to motivate informed decision-making and the adoption of best practices in the integration of carbon finance into WASH projects.

For a more in-depth exploration of the concepts, methodologies, and case studies presented within this summary, readers are advised to consult the full learning paper “Carbon Credits for WASH Interventions” as well as the feasibility study conducted in Amhara Ethiopia included in the paper. There they will find a wealth of information designed to equip stakeholders with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of carbon financing in the pursuit of sustainable WASH solutions.


We are immensely thankful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for their substantial support, which has been crucial in the completion of this study on incorporating carbon credits into WASH projects. Their dedication to promoting sustainable WASH solutions through creative funding mechanisms allowed us not only to conduct this vital research but also to provide useful knowledge and pragmatic advice to the sector. This work demonstrates the foundation’s forward-thinking approach to tackling global water and sanitation issues.

  • Carbon Finance as a Catalyst: Carbon credits can unlock new funding streams for WASH projects, supporting their implementation and enhancing sustainability.
  • Strategic Alignment Essential: Successful integration of carbon credits into WASH projects requires alignment with carbon market standards and methodologies, ensuring projects are eligible and capable of generating credible credits.
  • Knowledge and Capacity Building: A deep understanding of carbon markets, including regulatory frameworks and certification processes, is crucial for project implementers and supporters.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging local communities and stakeholders from the outset is vital for the success and sustainability of WASH projects leveraging carbon finance.
  • Monitoring and Verification: Robust systems for accurately monitoring and verifying emission reductions are essential for the credibility and saleability of carbon credits.
  • Market Dynamics and Risks: Navigating the volatility of carbon markets demands strategic planning and flexibility, acknowledging the financial risks and market fluctuations.
  • Comprehensive Project Design: Projects should not only aim for carbon credit generation but also prioritize broader environmental and social benefits, contributing to global sustainability goals.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Forging strategic partnerships with experienced carbon project developers and entities can provide valuable support and enhance project outcomes.
  • Adaptability to Change: Staying informed and adaptable to changes in carbon market regulations and trends is crucial for maintaining project alignment and capturing emerging opportunities.
  • Advocacy for Supportive Policies: Advocating for policies and market practices that facilitate the integration of carbon credits into WASH projects can help create a more favorable environment for these initiatives.

2. Carbon Markets and the WASH Sector

Carbon markets and the WASH sector have a common interest in how financial tools that target lower carbon emissions can be combined with efforts that aim to enhance public health and environmental sustainability. This section explains the basics of carbon credits and their possible role in the WASH sector, as an introduction for stakeholders who are interested in the connection between carbon finance and sustainable water management.

Carbon Credits: An Introduction

Carbon credits are the basic unit of carbon markets, each representing a metric ton of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases) that has been kept from entering the atmosphere. These credits are the money of carbon markets, created by projects that lower, remove, or prevent emissions. The markets are divided into two main categories: compliance (mandatory) markets, established under regulatory frameworks that require emission reductions, and voluntary markets, where entities voluntarily choose to offset their emissions for various reasons, such as corporate social responsibility or anticipating future regulations.

The Connection to WASH

The WASH sector, inherently concerned with public health and environmental sustainability, is a significant, but often ignored, actor in the climate mitigation field. Projects within this sector—from water purification systems that eliminate the need for boiling water, to energy-efficient water delivery systems—have the ability to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The use of carbon credits offers an innovative way to fund these climate-resilient WASH systems, thereby aligning global climate mitigation efforts with important public health goals.

Possibilities within the WASH Sector

The possibility for WASH projects to generate carbon credits mainly lies in their potential to reduce emissions through interventions such as the use of renewable energy sources for water treatment and pumping, or through the reduction of methane emissions from sanitation systems. However, the sector’s entry into carbon markets is not without its difficulties. The technicality of setting baseline emissions, showing additionality, and the complexity of navigating the carbon market are notable obstacles.

Furthermore, WASH projects have a unique advantage to benefit from the concept of suppressed demand in carbon credit generation. This concept recognizes the potential for emission reductions in communities currently lacking clean energy and water services, allowing for the generation of carbon credits based on future, rather than current, emission reduction scenarios. Such an approach could unlock considerable financial resources for WASH interventions in the regions most in need, promoting sustainable development and climate resilience.

InterventionsWhy could carbon certification be of interest?
Chlorinated Water Supply Schemes: Construction of four piped water schemes providing chlorinated water to public standpoints.Implementing reliable chlorination at public standpoints can reduce the need for water boiling, offering a clear path to emission reductions. While Ethiopia has yet to register such projects, international examples provide valuable insights.
Transition to Solar Power: Shift from diesel generators to solar-powered pumps (at four multi-village water schemes and at about 35 schools and healthcare facilities).Shifting from diesel generators to solar-powered pumps cuts emissions, highlighting the environmental benefits of renewable energy adoption in water supply systems.
Chlorine Dispensers Installation: Installed 834 chlorine dispensers in three woredas (districts) in Amhara region from 2017 to 2022 (MWA 2019).Through the introduction of chlorine dispensers, we can significantly decrease the reliance on boiling, mirroring successful carbon credit generation in other countries.
Household Water Filter Promotion: Household water filter manufacturers to promote their products in Ethiopia.Replacing boiling with household water filters can lead to carbon emission reductions. Three water filter projects have been registered under the Gold Standard in Ethiopia,[1] one of which has already issued carbon credits as of October 2023.
Local Government Support for monitoring point water sources and in maintaining /rehabilitating them when needed.Safe water access diminishes the need for boiling, aligning with emission reduction goals. 20 rehabilitation projects have been registered in Ethiopia, 19 of which have already issued carbon credits as of October 2023.[2]
Reforestation for Water Catchment Protection: Rehabilitating 400 ha of land (reforestation) to protect a water supply catchment area.Reforestation leads to the sequestration of carbon in biomass and therefore removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (if the reforestation is permanent). At least two reforestation projects located in Ethiopia have been registered and issued carbon credits under the Gold Standard (although they are not directly linked to water resource management).[3]
Carbon-Certifiable WASH interventions in Ethiopia

Strategic Integration for Enhanced Sustainability

To effectively combine carbon credits with WASH projects, one needs to have a good grasp of carbon markets, including how to choose the right methodology for generating carbon credits and how to deal with the legal and regulatory issues. It requires a proactive approach that not only aims to secure the financial sustainability of WASH projects but also seeks to enhance their environmental and social impact.

The opportunity of carbon finance to assist the WASH sector reflects an alignment of climate action and public health goals, offering a way towards more sustainable and resilient communities. As WASH implementers consider this novel financing mechanism, the main goal stays the same: to use carbon markets in a way that supports the sector’s role in global sustainability goals.

3. Generating Carbon Credits in WASH Projects

WASH projects that produce carbon credits offer a potential way to link environmental sustainability with vital public health goals. This section explores the complex process of creating carbon credits in the WASH sector, explaining the methodological frameworks, main actors involved, and the actions required to turn emission reduction efforts into concrete, tradable assets.

The Methodological Framework

Carbon credit generation relies on a structured methodology that ensures the verifiable decrease of greenhouse gases. For WASH projects, this involves setting up a clear baseline—representing the emissions that would have happened without the project—and showing how the intervention leads to a measurable drop in emissions. This drop is then converted into carbon credits, with one credit representing one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduced or avoided.

Methodologies specific to WASH projects may include various interventions, such as the use of energy-efficient water pumping systems, the decrease of methane emissions from sanitation systems, or the supply of clean drinking water that eliminates the need for boiling with biomass. Each of these interventions requires a customized approach to estimate the baseline emissions, monitor the emission reductions, and ensure the quality and reliability of the carbon credits generated.

Key Players in the Carbon Certification Process

Generating carbon credits is a collaborative effort involving several key players:

  • Project Implementers: These are the organizations directly responsible for executing the WASH carbon projects. They may include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, or private companies committed to improving WASH services.
  • Carbon Project Developers: Specialized entities that assist in developing the project design document (PDD), navigating the certification process, and ensuring compliance with the chosen carbon standard’s requirements.
  • Validation and Verification Bodies (VVBs): Independent auditors accredited by carbon standards to assess the project’s adherence to the carbon methodology, validate the projected emission reductions, and verify the actual emission reductions achieved.
Steps for Carbon Certification (2–3-year duration with re-validation after 5 years)

Steps to Generating Carbon Credits

  1. Project Design and Documentation: Initiating a WASH carbon credit project begins with a detailed project design that outlines the intervention, expected emission reductions, and how these reductions will be achieved and measured. This phase culminates in the creation of a Project Design Document (PDD), which serves as the blueprint for the project’s carbon credit generation efforts.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging with the local community and other stakeholders is crucial for ensuring the project’s social and environmental integrity. This engagement process helps identify potential impacts and incorporates feedback into the project design.
  3. Validation: An independent VVB reviews the PDD to validate the project’s methodology, emission reduction calculations, and overall feasibility. This validation ensures that the project meets the standards required for generating credible carbon credits.
  4. Monitoring and Verification: Once the project is operational, continuous monitoring is essential to track emission reductions and verify their alignment with the project’s initial projections. This monitoring data is then compiled into reports that are submitted to the VVB for verification.
  5. Credit Issuance and Sale: Following successful verification, the project is issued carbon credits, which can then be sold on the voluntary carbon market. The revenue generated from these sales can provide critical financial support for the continuation and expansion of WASH services.

4. Opportunities and Challenges for Carbon Credits in WASH

By combining carbon credits with WASH projects, many possibilities and difficulties arise. This complex situation requires a thorough knowledge of both the advantages and obstacles that come with using carbon finance to improve the sustainability and impact of WASH interventions.

Opportunities for WASH Projects

  • New Sources of Funding: One of the most important opportunities that carbon credits offer is the possibility to access new income streams. The revenue from carbon credits can provide vital financial assistance for the establishment, operation, and upkeep of WASH projects, especially in underserved areas where funding shortfalls often occur.
  • Improved Project Longevity: Carbon finance can help the long-term continuity of WASH projects by providing continuous funding beyond initial capital costs. This ensures that projects can keep delivering benefits to communities over time, meeting both current and future water, sanitation, and hygiene needs.
  • Climate Change Action: WASH projects that lower greenhouse gas emissions play a direct role in global climate change action efforts. By producing carbon credits, these projects demonstrate their contribution to the wider environmental agenda, linking public health improvements with climate action.
  • Greater Visibility and Verification: Participating in the carbon market can raise the profile of WASH projects and verify their environmental impact. This recognition can draw in more partners, investors, and donors, further supporting the project’s objectives and growth.

Challenges in Leveraging Carbon Credits

  • Carbon Markets are Complicated: The rules, standards, and methods of the carbon market can be hard to understand and manage. WASH project implementers need to spend time and energy to learn these details, which may be difficult for organizations that are new to carbon finance.
  • Showing Additionality and Baseline Emissions: A key condition for creating carbon credits is showing that the emission reductions are additional—that they only happened because of the carbon finance incentive. Setting up baseline emissions and showing additionality can be hard, especially in the context of WASH projects where direct emissions reductions may not be obvious.
  • Risk of Market Changes: The price of carbon credits can change depending on the market situation, affected by how much supply and demand there is in the voluntary carbon market. This uncertainty can create financial risks for projects that depend a lot on carbon credit revenue for their operations.
  • Making Sure Projects are Eligible and Honest: Making sure that WASH projects meet the requirements for carbon credit creation, including social and environmental protections, needs careful planning and monitoring. There is also the challenge of keeping the project’s emission reductions reliable, avoiding any impression of greenwashing.
  • Dealing with Suppressed Demand: Especially important for WASH projects is the idea of suppressed demand, which recognizes the possibility for emission reductions in communities that currently lack clean energy and water services. Correctly measuring these reductions while making sure they are valid and believable can be complicated.

To take advantage of these opportunities and overcome these challenges, WASH project implementers need to have a clear plan, seeking guidance from experts, and working with skilled carbon project developers. This way, they can get the most out of carbon finance, supporting sustainable, climate-adaptive WASH solutions that help communities in need while promoting global environmental goals.

Intervention typeEmission reduction potentialRelevance for WASH sector in Sub-Saharan AfricaRelevance of carbon credits
Energy sourcing and operational efficiency: Shift from non-renewable to renewable energy to power WASH infrastructure and operate water and sanitation systems efficiently.High. Water and wastewater extraction, distribution, and treatment account for about 4 percent of global electricity consumption and 50 million tons of oil equivalent of thermal energy (IEA, 2016). Global emissions of energy-related emissions (i.e., the use of fossil fuels for energy production) for water extraction, treatment and supply, and wastewater collection and treatment are estimated to be 400 to 550 million tCO2e (GWI 2022, Thomas 2024), or about 1 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.Low, but growing. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa contribute little to these emissions (GWI 2022). However, emissions are expected to rise as services expand and water use increases.  Low to medium, but possible (see Table 2). However, low relevance in the context of replacing diesel-powered pumps with solar systems: Burning 377 liters of diesel emits one ton of CO2. Replacing this amount of diesel can generate one carbon credit. However, carbon credits can be sold for 5 to 10 USD/tCO2e, while the cost of 377 liters of diesel is between 250 and 500 USD in most countries.
Note: The adoption of renewable energy to power WASH infrastructure is imperative for utilities and other stakeholders. This transition should be coupled with efforts to reduce water losses and improve pumping efficiency. In the Ethiopian context, promoting the use of solar and low-carbon grid electricity for pumping is essential. Given the reduction in operating costs achieved by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, financing models based on these cost savings appear more promising than relying on the relatively modest additional revenue generated by carbon credits. However, the introduction of renewable energy should not be done at the expense of service reliability.
Direct emissions from sanitation: Mitigating methane emissions from sanitation systems.High, but not well understood. Global methane and nitrous oxide emissions from wastewater, sludge treatment, and on-site sanitation systems are estimated to be 400 to 550 million tCO2 (GWI 2022; Thomas 2024), or about 1 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent meta-analysis found that methane emissions from non-sewered systems are still not well understood, but are estimated to be 377 (22-1,003) million tCO2e/year, or 4.7 percent (0.3-12.5 percent) of anthropogenic methane emissions (Cheng 2022).High, but to be confirmed. Emissions from on-site sanitation systems (which are common in sub-Saharan Africa) can have a significant impact on the climate. In Ethiopia alone, methane emissions from on-site sanitation have been estimated at more than 7 million tons of CO2e/year (Evans 2023).  Currently medium, but potentially high in the future. Methane capture from wastewater treatment plants is a common project type for generating carbon credits. However, there are no projects that generate carbon credits for improved management of on-site sanitation systems. The Container Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA) is actively exploring how its members can generate additional revenue through carbon credit generation.
Note: The WASH sector needs to improve its understanding of methane emissions from non-sewered sanitation and identify specific measures to mitigate and monitor these emissions, such as more frequent emptying of pits and septic tanks to reduce methane release. It is important to note that safely managed sanitation systems are not inherently climate-smart, and global monitoring efforts will need to be adapted to incorporate climate considerations. In addition, carbon credits can only be generated for well-defined interventions where emission reductions can be accurately monitored.
Replacing the boiling of drinking water: Providing access to safe drinking water.Low. Approximately 600 million people in low- and middle-income countries report boiling their drinking water (Rosa, 2010). Based on an estimate of 0.5 to 1 tCO2e per household per year, the maximum annual emissions are 60 to 120 million tCO2e but are likely to be much lower because many households use electric kettles rather than inefficient wood-burning stoves.Medium. In sub-Saharan Africa, 76 percent of households access water from sources that are contaminated, mainly with fecal matter (WHO 2022). Household water treatment, including boiling, is recommended – at least as an interim measure.High, but could be lower in the future if the rules for the use of avoided demand were to change.   A recent publication estimated the potential carbon credit generation from avoided fuel use at more than 218 million tCO2e per year (Thomas 2024).
Note: Despite the comparatively modest emissions reduction potential of replacing the boiling of drinking water, this type of intervention has accounted for a considerable proportion of the carbon credits issued to date. Certification of safe water projects has become standard practice, and the Gold Standard has published a methodology specifically tailored to safe drinking water.
Eliminating solid fuels for cooking: Promotion of clean cooking options.High. Worldwide, 2.4 billion people rely on polluting open fires or inefficient stoves to cook their food, harming their health, the climate, and the environment. Burning wood fuels produces about 1,000 million tCO2e each year, or about 2 percent of global emissions (CCA 2022). These estimates include emissions from boiling drinking water.High. Firewood and charcoal are widely used for cooking in sub-Saharan Africa. While not directly a WASH intervention, promoting clean cooking solutions is an environmental health intervention with many parallels to market-based approaches to promoting sanitation or household water treatment options.High. Common project type for generating carbon credits, although recent reports suggest that some projects may have been over-credited (Gill-Wiehl 2024).   Biodigesters that produce biogas for cooking combine sanitation and clean cooking and can be registered as a carbon project.
Note: Emissions from boiling drinking water can also be reduced by encouraging a shift to cleaner cooking practices. For example, the use of electric stoves powered by clean grid electricity results in a minimal carbon footprint. Eliminating the use of solid fuels, primarily firewood and charcoal, for cooking has significant potential for both climate change mitigation and public health improvements. Currently, there is a shift from promoting fuel-efficient stoves that use less firewood or charcoal to advocating for clean cooking solutions such as electricity, biogas, ethanol, or LPG.
Nature-based carbon sequestration: Reforestation related to water resource and disaster risk management.Very high. By 2030, nature-based solutions implemented across all ecosystems can deliver emission reductions and removals of 5,000 to 11,700 million tCO2e per year (UNEP 2021).High. Implementing nature-based solutions is relevant on all continents.High. Common type of project to generate carbon credits, although recent reports suggest that some projects may have over-credited (West 2023).
Note: Reforestation efforts linked to water resources and disaster risk management are not the primary drivers for implementing nature-based carbon sequestration. However, the WASH sector can play a supporting role in the conservation and rehabilitation of ecosystems. The contribution of nature-based solutions to global climate change mitigation requires adherence to strict social and environmental safeguards to avoid harm.
Green House Gas mitigation potential in the WASH sector

5. Strategic Considerations for WASH Projects

To successfully combine carbon credits with WASH projects, careful attention is needed to various factors that can affect the effectiveness and durability of these efforts. As WASH programs explore carbon finance as a way to improve project results and environmental benefits, several important strategic considerations arise:

1. Aligning Project Goals with Carbon Market Requirements

  • Compatibility: Ensure the project’s environmental goals are compatible with the requirements of the carbon market, particularly concerning the reduction of greenhouse gases.
  • Methodology Selection: Choose a carbon credit generation methodology that aligns with the nature of the WASH project, whether it’s focused on water purification, energy efficiency in water delivery, or sanitation solutions.

2. Understanding and Navigating the Carbon Market

  • Market Dynamics: Develop a deep understanding of the voluntary carbon market’s dynamics, including demand for credits, pricing trends, and buyer preferences.
  • Standard Compliance: Familiarize with the compliance standards and certification processes of entities like the Gold Standard or Verra (VCS), ensuring the project meets all necessary criteria for carbon credit generation.

3. Ensuring Project Additionality and Measurable Impact

  • Additionality: Clearly demonstrate that the emission reductions achieved by the WASH project are additional and would not have occurred without the intervention.
  • Measurable Results: Create solid methods for assessing and confirming the project’s effect on lowering greenhouse gas emissions, securing the reliability and marketability of produced carbon credits.

4. Managing Financial Risks and Market Fluctuations

  • Risk Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment focusing on market volatility and the potential impact on the project’s financial viability.
  • Diversified Funding: While leveraging carbon credits as a revenue stream, maintain a diversified funding strategy to buffer against market fluctuations and ensure project sustainability.

5. Engaging Stakeholders and Ensuring Community Benefits

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with local communities and stakeholders from the project’s inception to ensure it meets their needs and gains their support.
  • Social and Environmental Benefits: Beyond carbon credits, emphasize the project’s broader social and environmental benefits, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing community well-being.

6. Building Capacity and Leveraging Partnerships

  • Expertise Development: Build internal capacity or partner with experienced carbon project developers to navigate the carbon certification process effectively.
  • Collaborative Networks: Leverage networks and partnerships with NGOs, governmental agencies, and private sector entities experienced in carbon markets to enhance project design, implementation, and certification success.

7. Long-term Planning and Adaptability

  • Sustainability Focus: Design WASH projects with a long-term view, ensuring that they remain viable and effective in delivering both immediate and future benefits.
  • Market Adaptability: Stay informed about changes in carbon market regulations and trends, adapting project strategies as necessary to maintain alignment with market opportunities and challenges.

Decision Making Framework (Go No-go Decision Tree)

By carefully planning these strategic elements, WASH projects can use the opportunity of carbon finance more efficiently. This helps to ensure the long-term viability of vital water and sanitation services and also supports global efforts to reduce climate change impacts, creating a beneficial situation for both communities and the planet.

6. Recommendations for Implementation

Finding the best way to combine carbon credits with WASH projects is a careful process that needs creativity and vision. This challenging but beneficial task offers a chance to use environmental finance tools for sustainable development and climate action. To make this combination work well, the following suggestions are made, that include both the views of the implementers and the donors in a common approach:

Learn More About Carbon Markets by Acquiring Knowledge: Improve your grasp of carbon finance mechanisms, with an emphasis on carbon markets, standards, and certification processes. Customized training or working with experts can clarify carbon finance, helping you make better decisions and plan your strategy.

Conduct Comprehensive Feasibility Studies to Estimate what is Possible: Before starting carbon credit generation, conduct in-depth feasibility studies to estimate the possible within WASH projects. This should include evaluating environmental impact, additionality, suppressed demand, and financial feasibility, helping the selection of projects with the highest possible for success.

Prioritize Transparent and Accurate Monitoring by Implementing Robust Systems: Develop and maintain transparent, accurate systems for monitoring and reporting emissions reductions. This ensures credibility and facilitates the verification process, essential for the integrity and sale ability of carbon credits.

Involve All Stakeholders Throughout the Process by Encouraging Cooperation: Involve all stakeholders, including local communities, from the start of the project until its completion. Their backing and active involvement are essential for reaching both the project’s objectives and its wider environmental and social benefits.

Build Strategic Partnerships by Using Shared Knowledge: Work with entities that have expertise in carbon finance. These partnerships can provide technical assistance, risk mitigation, and increased exposure in the carbon market.

Stay Up to Date and Flexible with Market and Regulatory Changes: Monitor the developments in carbon market rules, criteria, and tendencies. The ability to adjust project plans to match these changes can seize new opportunities and reduce risks.

Support Creative and Integrated Project Plans and Promote Complete Methods: Push for projects that generate carbon credits and match wider sustainability goals, including social and environmental benefits that help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recognize the financial challenges and initial costs that come with carbon credit certification. Flexible financing, such as paying for feasibility studies and certification costs, can reduce these obstacles, motivating more WASH projects to consider carbon finance.

Support Policy and Market Development and Push for Beneficial Conditions: Use influence to push for policies and market actions that help integrate carbon credits into WASH projects. This can help make a more favorable environment for using carbon finance in sustainable development efforts.

These recommendations can help stakeholders deal with the challenges of using carbon credits in WASH projects more efficiently. This method not only enhances the financial viability of essential water and sanitation services but also helps to reduce global climate change impacts, showing the strong link between environmental finance and sustainable development.

7. Conclusion

The idea of combining carbon credits with WASH projects shows a way where environmental sustainability meets essential public health initiatives. This journey, which has both promise and complexity, shows the potential of carbon finance to strengthen the resilience and impact of WASH interventions. As this summary has explained, using carbon credits offers a varied opportunity to not only support important infrastructure projects but also join the global fight against climate change.

The strategic considerations and recommendations presented here act as a guide for understanding the carbon market’s complexities. They emphasize the importance of building knowledge, doing thorough feasibility assessments, involving stakeholders, and creating partnerships. These actions are basic in overcoming the difficulties associated with carbon credit generation, such as dealing with market dynamics, ensuring project additionality, and setting up strong monitoring mechanisms.

Moreover, the journey towards combining carbon credits with WASH projects is not only the responsibility of project implementers. Donors, too, have a vital role in this ecosystem, providing the needed financial support and advocacy to back innovative financing models. Their commitment can help fill gaps, allowing projects to achieve both immediate and long-term sustainability goals.

To sum up, the combination of carbon credits with WASH projects demonstrates an attractive merger of environmental and public health goals. It offers a new way of financing that not only meets the urgent need for sustainable WASH solutions but also helps with wider climate mitigation efforts. As stakeholders explore this landscape, the shared vision of a sustainable, resilient future remains a motivating force, inspiring continued innovation, and collaboration in the quest for impactful and lasting change.

[1] Native Hydraid BioSand Water Filter (GS1289): https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/1592
  Believe Green Safe Drinking Water (GS7443): https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/1641
  Nazava Water Filter Project (GS10824): https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/2781

[2] 17 projects under GS1247 “Improved kitchen regimes multi-country PoA”, for example Southern Ethiopia
  Community Boreholes (GS5322): https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/1406

  Three projects under GS5658 “PoA – Climate finance for sustainable development” for example Resilience with
  Safe Drinking Water (GS 6749): https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/1505

[3] Sodo Ethiopia (GS3007): https://registry.goldstandard.org/projects/details/511
  Humbo Ethiopia (GS10220): https://registry.goldstandard.org/proj