About us and our mission
The Higher Ground Foundation facilitates adaptation to climate change through the development and promotion of an adaptation credit framework based on Vulnerability Reduction Credits (VRCs), which are generated through activities and interventions that are independently certified to reduce vulnerability in a quantifiable manner.
Since its founding in 2011, the Higher Ground Foundation has been run by a team of professionals headquartered in London, UK with participants based in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. For more information on the dedicated volunteers and principals making up the Higher Ground team, please visit our Team Page.
Currently, Higher Ground Foundation operates as an initiative of Climate Mitigation Works Ltd. (CMW), and all contracts and agreements with counter parties are signed with CMW.
Measuring Adaptation through VRCs
Simply put, one Vulnerability Reduction Credit is equivalent to 50 Euros of avoided climate impact, adjusted for local economic conditions. As a numerical measure, VRCs can be translated across communities and projects as a universal indicator of reduced vulnerability to climate change. Generated VRCs can be sold on to third-parties interested in funding verified climate adaptation activities, traded to meet obligations under future national or international obligations, or used as a performance metric against organizational goals and guidelines for adaptation.
For more information on the VRC mechanism, please visit our VRC page.
Enabling Trust in Projects
Climate adaptation is a long-term process with outcomes that must be ensured for at least decades. Unfortunately, climate adaptation project results are generally measured in the immediate term and against widely varying performance benchmarks. Developing Vulnerability Reduction Credit-denominated projects based on rigorously defined intervention methodologies creates a transparent, common metric through which costs and benefits can be compared across project settings and types, fostering trust that projects will achieve real and lasting adaptation results. Because the VRCs are only awarded following strict third-party accreditation followed by certification over time, adaptation results are maintained and ensured.
For further information on how VRC projects are developed, accredited, and monitored, please take a look at our Standard Framework
Much more than a series of activities and investments, climate change adaptation is a holistic exercise in developing resilience over time through the participation of multiple stakeholders, including communities and governments, scientists and engineers, experts and citizens. Although VRCs are a quantified measure, projects must prove that they meet basic principles in terms of avoidance of harm-including externalized damage to the ecosystem and other communities, transparency, consistency, and, above all, community participation.
More directly, the Higher Ground Foundation is a community that relies on the interest and participation of many interested individuals, who can volunteer to help us promote and develop our framework or simply support us as Friends.