Gold Standard quantifies climate + health SDG impacts to drive finance

As the World Health Organisation convenes its second annual Conference on Health and Climate, Gold Standard, experts in climate + development, announce a new programme that provides a credible way to measure progress towards multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – tackling these issues in a more inclusive way and driving finance into climate and health initiatives that help those that need it the most.

Climate change and health are inexorably linked. The WHO estimates that 7 million premature deaths annually are linked to air pollution and between 2030 and 2050 climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, with direct damage costs to health estimated at between US$2-4 billion/year by 2030. If climate change is not brought under control, health problems from unclean air, water unsafe to drink, insufficient food and lack of secure shelter will only be exacerbated, leaving those developing countries that are most exposed least able to cope.

Working with thought leaders in health, air quality, and climate science, Gold Standard is pioneering a way to quantify the health benefits (SDG#3) delivered by technologies that provide clean cooking and heating solutions to vulnerable communities around the world. This first-of-its kind approach uses Averted Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) as the impact metric. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or premature death. Reducing or averting DALYs can demonstrate an improvement in health and life expectancy.

Quantifying the health impacts from a project enables public and private investors to see where their money has been spent and how their investments have made a difference, helping them to maximize their impact and track their progress towards SDG#3 while also contributing to climate action in SDG#13. It will also help build investor confidence — driving more finance into those projects and regions that need it the most.

“This is a path-breaking move by Gold Standard and promises to catalyze new and additional private sector funding for the clean cooking, clean air and health agenda, supplementing the cookstove carbon market which alone is unable to drive the levels of finance required for this vital segment.” said, Ken Newcombe, CEO of C Quest Capital.

“This new programme tackles the issues at the intersection of health and climate.” States Marion Verles, CEO of Gold Standard. “It will enable both the public and private sector to confront the global problems in a holistic way, financing initiatives that help improve the health and livelihoods of vulnerable communities whilst also ensuring that it delivers on the targets set under the SDGs.”

This initiative is the outcome of a collaboration between C Quest Capital and Gold Standard to pioneer a new methodology to measure and verify improved health outcomes from cleaner cooking and cleaner air. The methodology development and pilot project implementation is supported through funding from Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets, World Bank Group, World Vision Australia, and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. It will be released for public consultation in autumn of 2016, with the final methodology available for piloting at the beginning of 2017.

Gold Standard plans to build on its efforts in climate and health with a future methodology that can quantify ADALYs from Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) projects.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Claire Willers, Marketing & Communications Manager, Gold Standard
Tel: +41 78 947 74 94

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