August Newsletter: Project pipeline progress report, standardized approaches rules complete peer review
Project pipeline progress report, standardized approaches rules complete peer review
Letter from CEO David Antonioli
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
Despite the oncoming vacation season, August promises to fill up with lots of hard work. Our efforts to establish requirements for standardized approaches for baselines and additionality has been drafted and is about halfway through its main feedback-collecting stage. The draft has just completed peer review and will soon be posted for public comments. Meantime, new AFOLU requirements governing leakage and the avoided conversion of grasslands and shrublands (ACoGS) have completed their public comment period and will soon be ready for inclusion in VCS version 3. We will digest all of this feedback in August so we can release both the final AFOLU requirements and the draft requirements on standardized approaches in September.
At the same time, we continue to work through details regarding how to structure our new project pipeline, which we aim to launch in coming months. We believe our efforts to enable listing pipeline projects will bring important structure and transparency to the market. Please don’t hesitate to share with us your views and comments.
Project pipeline progress report: delving into the details
VCS is preparing to launch a project pipeline to capture and disclose more information about projects under development or in the validation phase. Many of you have asked us about progress on this initiative, indicating there is keen interest in what we envision to be a helpful tool for listing project information at an earlier stage.
At present, we are working to ensure that the thresholds for listing project information are meaningful to the market and appropriate to the capacity of project developers. We are also working to make sure our online project database seamlessly transitions between the pipeline and the registered project stages. While pipeline projects will appear in a separate section of the project database – clearly distinct from registered projects – our aim is to develop a single streamlined process for project proponents. Ultimately we want the pipeline to act as a forum that increases market transparency and structure without creating hurdles for project developers. We appreciate everyone’s patience and support in helping us get the details just right. Stay tuned.
Draft requirements for standardized approaches complete peer review
On 5 August, a group of peer reviewers submitted their comments on VCS draft requirements for standardized approaches to determining baselines and assessing additionality. The requirements, once finalized, will set out VCS rules for methodologies using performance benchmarks or positive lists, with the aim of providing a structured approach to crediting that goes beyong the project-by-project approach to determining baselines and additionality. The initial draft requirements were developed by a VCS steering committee, and we are now reviewing the peer review comments. Revised draft requirements should be issued for public consultation in September at the latest. For more information about the Standardized Approaches initiative, see our Program Development page.
New AFOLU requirements for grasslands and leakage
On 6 August, new VCS requirements governing leakage and the avoided conversion of grasslands and shrublands (ACoGS) completed their public comment period. We are currently reviewing comments and anticipate issuing final requirements in September. The updated leakage requirements differentiate between market and non-market, activity-shifting leakage — clarifying how to address displaced deforestation due to migrant activities. The ACoGS requirements set out comprehensive GHG emission reduction guidelines for grassland and shrubland projects and methodologies. For more information about the new requirements, see our Program Development page.
New methodology pipeline
Two new transportation methodologies move to second assessment
On 1 July, a new methodology to substitute ethanol for gasoline or gasoline blends in commercial flex-fuel vehicle fleets sweetened its chances for approval. The methodology, under development by Keyassociados and Ecofrotas, would apply to vehicles that burn ethanol produced from renewable resources such as sugarcane.
On 7 July, a methodology to develop public bicycle sharing projects pedaled past first assessment. The methodology, prepared by CityRyde LLC, would apply to new or expanded bike rental facilities that transition participants from carbon-intensive transportation to human-powered or electric bicycles. Read more about these methodologies and other methodologies under review on the Methodologies Under Development page.
VCS Association updates
Welcome to Ben Block (VCS Program Officer) and Kristen Reglin (Office Manager)
Please extend a warm welcome to our new program officer Ben Block and office manager Kristen Reglin, who joined the VCS staff in the past month. Ben, a University of Maryland graduate who has just completed a Fulbright Fellowship exploring forest carbon projects in Peru, will support project and methodology developers while also spearheading efforts to offer more training and support to validation/verification bodies. Kristen, a native of Minnesota, joins VCS from the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs where she also served as office manager. Kristen will manage all bookkeeping, contracting, invoicing and reporting for the organization as well as help track logo use and other external VCSA agreements. Ben can be reached at email@example.com and Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farewell to Kristina Walton
We are also parting with office manager Kristina Walton, who mastered a multitude of tasks from accounting to HR to organizing team barbecues during her year and a half with the VCSA. We will miss “Krissy” as she enrolls in George Washington University to pursue her passion of becoming an art museum curator and wish her the best of luck.