I thought it might be helpful to set out a simple summary of what a carbon project actually IS. I imagine at least some people are sort of reluctant to confess ignorance of this.
1. Identify an existing activity within the framework of the IPCC / UNFCCC.
2. Identify the emissions from the current activity.
3. Identify social benefits of changing this activity.
4. Develop a project plan to change the existing activity so as to reduce emissions.
5. Write up the project in approved format.
6. Validate project with help of carbon auditor / Designated Operating Entity (DOE).
7. Lodge project with UN. It is listed publicly and is available for comments from pretty much anyone. Special attention is given to comments from the people affected by the existing and the proposed activities.
8. After lodgement, await approval.
9. Keep waiting.
10. Start using back channels to find out what the hell the holdup is.
11. Assuming at some point the project is approved, the project begins.
12. Measurements verify that emissions have been reduced.
13. For each tCO2e (ton of CO2 equivalent) reduced in emissions the project earns one Certified Emission Reduction (CER)- a carbon credit.
14. Find a bidder to purchase the carbon credits. Usually, a company with horrifying emissions like big oil.