Clarifications to BeZero Preliminary Rating

Posted: May 30, 2023

There have been several scandals recently about carbon projects which do not deliver the carbon emission reductions they promise. In response to this need for integrity in the carbon markets, ratings agencies such as BeZero have stepped in to provide a rating on individual carbon projects.  As a pioneer in best practice in the carbon markets, MicroEnergy Credits welcomes this evolution of the carbon markets. Indeed, MEC has long supported industry wide efforts to accurately support carbon emission reduction claims by working with the CDM standard, independent auditors, Gold Standard and Verra, providing technical assistance to other countries as a field example for World Bank delegations, undergoing due diligence as a runner up for the Ashden Awards and then working with the carbon and development professionals of the Swedish Energy Agency among others. MEC is confident that the work we do creates substantive carbon emission reductions which are accurately reported using the best available approaches. That said, we are also continuously learning and open to ideas in how we can improve our climate impact and how we report it. 

In late 2022, BeZero published a preliminary rating of the MEC Mongolia Microfinance for Clean Energy Project. MEC was made aware of the existence of BeZero and their rating of our project several months after it was published. When our team read the rating, we reached out to BeZero to understand their rationale. In January of 2023 they shared with us a document describing their rationale. Their initial ratings approach did not require visiting the program on ground or even speaking to the project developer or any field partner about the project before issuing the rating.  This led to 180 degrees misunderstanding of the carbon program. The BeZero rating rationale document made clear that they had many factual inaccuracies and misunderstandings which led to their preliminary rating. We started working collaboratively with BeZero in January 2023 to bring more accurate information into their analysis. In March 2023 MEC provided a detailed written clarification to their rationale document that corrected dozens of factual errors in the original rating. BeZero has subsequently placed their rating on “watch” while they review the information that MEC sent to them.  

MEC wants to be sure that the most accurate information is always available to stakeholders including ratings agencies, and buyers of carbon credits. To ensure this transparency, we’ve posted here a full overview of the project, corroborated by publicly available data. This overview includes the achievements the program has made in reducing carbon and improving lives in Mongolia.  It includes a detailed overview of the project’s approach to ensure integrity of the carbon credits including ensuring additionality, avoiding leakage, using conservative assumptions to avoid over crediting, rigorous monitoring, engagement of third-party auditors and course correcting challenges that emerged during monitoring.  This overview also provides insight into how the project champions development best practices by working with microfinance and maintaining a long-term presence to ensure longevity of the climate gains and social benefits through an evolving market, policy and technological environment. Finally, the overview includes a line-by-line correction of the factual inaccuracies which led to the preliminary BeZero rating. 

Read the full clarification here

MicroEnergy Credits is the most trusted name in social impact carbon credits.

Our mission is to empower every microfinance community with access to affordable and innovative clean energy solutions, while moving towards a world free of both poverty and climate change.