A project to use carbon credits to finance the free delivery of water filters to 4.5 million people has been sharply criticised by a US expert. Mulago Foundation director Kevin Starr calls Verstergaard Frandsen’s Carbon for Water initiative a “loopy funding scheme paired with a lousy public health solution”. The company maintains it is providing a sustainable solution by guaranteeing free service and repair for the next 10 years.
The Verstergaard Frandsen company, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, has delivered 900,000 of their LifeStraw Family water filters free-of-charge to households in the Western Province of Kenya through their Carbon for Water programme.
Using filters instead of boiling water with firewood will lead to significant reduction in carbon emissions the company says. This earns them carbon credits that they can sell to companies in countries that have carbon caps and exchanges. Vertergaard Frandsen is investing US$ 30 million (Euros 20.7 million) in the project. It expects to generate a CO2 emission reduction of two to 2.5 million tonnes per year which it will sell on the voluntary carbon credit market. The company says it has already made an advance deal worth 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions with the US bank JP Morgan Chase, adding that the current market value oscillates between six and 10 euros per tonne.