Forestry expert joins Climate Impact Partners as Head of Technical Due Diligence

Published 11 July 2024

Ciara McCarthy, a sustainable agroforestry and natural climate solutions expert, with more than two decades experience, has joined Climate Impact Partners– a leading carbon finance organisation - as Head of Technical Due Diligence, continuing to enhance their rigorous quality assurance process.

Ciara joins from Verra, the world leading standard for voluntary carbon market projects, where she directed the Natural Climate Solutions team – responsible for ensuring the integrity, credibility, and high-quality credits for each nature-based solution project type.

In a career dedicated to forest conservation across temperate and tropical ecosystems, Ciara brings a wealth of expertise to Climate Impact Partners. Her experience spans afforestation/reforestation initiatives, biodiversity conservation, risk management, policy development, and the implementation of robust environmental and social safeguards.

As a former carbon, forestry, and biomass auditor, Ciara possesses a comprehensive understanding of compliance and assurance protocols. Leveraging this diverse skillset and global perspective, she will spearhead the refinement of Climate Impact Partner's technical due diligence processes and quality standards, ensuring the company's climate solutions deliver maximum integrity and impact.

Rachael Nutter, Global Director of Project Development commented: “Ciara’s appointment adds fantastic capabilities to our strong technical expertise. Quality builds integrity and this is critical to establishing trust in the market. For us, quality assurance is at the heart of the solutions we provide – it is fundamental to our role as the trusted partner to our clients and our project partners, delivering climate solutions with verified impact that protect and enhance their reputations as climate leaders. Ciara brings a wealth of experience to ensure we are continuously developing our processes, implementing the latest science, technology, and guidelines as they develop.”

Ciara was a Senior Lead Auditor for several agriculture and forestry-based schemes, including FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), and Rainforest Alliance. She is currently completing a Masters in Tropical Forestry at Bangor University.

Commenting on her appointment, Ciara McCarthy said: “I am excited to join an organisation driven by its laser focus on quality, and a team with deep expertise in nature-based solutions – both working with existing projects and developing new ones. The voluntary carbon market is evolving, and we need to ensure it can scale with integrity to deliver on climate, social and biodiversity benefits. Corporates channelling finance to incredible nature-based projects around the world should feel confident in communicating about these projects and making claims underpinned by high quality carbon credits. My role helps to enable this.”

Climate Impact Partners has been awarded Best Offset Retailer eleven times in Environmental Finance’s annual Voluntary Carbon Market Awards, recognising its focus on quality and building trusted partnerships with projects and clients. 

Ciara’s appointment adds fantastic capabilities to our strong technical expertise. Quality builds integrity and this is critical to establishing trust in the market. For us, quality assurance is at the heart of the solutions we provide – it is fundamental to our role as the trusted partner to our clients and our project partners.
Rachael Nutter, Global Director of Project Development, Climate Impact Partners