June/July 2016 Newsletter
Link to full newsletter: June/July 2016 Online Newsletter
It has been a very busy few months since our last newsletter. You may have already seen our new website, and we are delighted to share some updates on our work with California’s cap-and-trade program, an innovative new methodology for reduced impact logging that was approved recently, and South Africa’s draft regulation proposing to recognize VCUs as compliance instruments. Today we are also releasing broad guidance on nesting REDD+ projects at the jurisdictional scale.
Please read on for further details on these and other exciting updates taking place with our various programs and initiatives.
Our New Look
The VCS has a fresh new website
Launched this May, our new site features a clean design and highlights our full suite of programs and initiatives to promote sustainable social and environmental outcomes. The site includes our flagship VCS Program, as well as newer partnerships and initiatives, like the CCB Program, the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency and the Landscape Standard. By showcasing our full suite of programs and initiatives, the site shows that we remain firmly rooted in our work in voluntary carbon markets, while also expanding our standards expertise to new arenas. We craft standards not just for carbon credits, but for a sustainable world.Explore the new site.
Verified Carbon Standard Program
VCS and California’s Offset Program
In 2013, the State of California approved the VCS Program as an Early Action Offset Program in its landmark cap-and-trade program, making it one of the first governments to recognize VCS in its compliance system. With this designation, VCS projects that fall within project categories accepted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) can participate in the state’s compliance market, meaning they can convert VCUs into compliance credits.
To date, three such projects have converted more than 1.5 million VCUs into ARB offset credits (ARBOCs). This June, VCS staff conducted a site visit to one such early-mover project, the Corinth Abandoned Mine Methane Recovery Project in Illinois, which has since transitioned into a full compliance project under the VCS Offset Project Registry (OPR). The project has already converted almost half a million VCUs under its early action phase, avoiding emissions equivalent to taking more than 100 thousand passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
Read more about our site visit and our work with California.
South African Carbon Tax Draft Regulation Recognizes VCS
The South African Government’s draft regulation for its new carbon tax, which includes a provision that allows covered entities to use carbon credits to cover a portion of their tax liability, cites VCU’s issued by the VCS Program as compliance instruments under the innovative new approach to pricing carbon. This move would make South Africa the first government to fully recognize the entire infrastructure provided by voluntary standards like the VCS Program. Though South Africa’s regulation is still in draft phase, it presents an exciting potential new opportunity for credits from voluntary standards like the VCS Program to be used in compliance markets.
Read more about the implications of this draft regulation.
Webinars on RIL-C and ICAO Now Available
Thanks to all who attended our recent webinar on the newVM0035 RIL-C methodology for improved forest management through reduced impact logging, developed by The Nature Conservancy and TerraCarbon. This methodology is pioneering in that it is the first performance method (benchmark) developed for the AFOLU sector and we are thrilled to see it finally available. If you missed the webinar or want a refresher, you can now watch the full webinar online.
VCS CEO David Antonioli also recently presented in IETA’s Aviation and REDD+ Webinar, helping to answer the question “What is the role of REDD+ for the aviation sector?” Watch the webinar.
New Guidance on Nesting REDD+ Available
We are pleased to announce the release of a new guidance document, Options for Nesting REDD+ Projects, which builds on our previous work on nested jurisdictional-scale REDD+. Produced in coordination with Winrock International and Fundación Natura Colombia, with input from The South Pole Group, this guidance provides projects and governments with further detail on and a suite of options for integrating and harmonizing projects into jurisdictional REDD+ programs. As the REDD+ sector matures, we expect this guidance to become increasingly relevant. More here.
Initiative for Climate Action Transparency
Stakeholder Survey Results are in
The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) is developing guidance for countries to use in reporting on the impacts of their policies and actions. As part of the Initiative’s recent launch, the ICAT team conducted a survey to gather information on what kinds of guidance stakeholders would find most useful, and what they aim to use that guidance for.
Participants from across government, industry, and civil society reported that they were most likely to use the guidance for domestic planning and evaluation and to meet their UNFCCC reporting requirements. Respondents also weighed in on what types of guidance they preferred and on the main purposes of seeking external finance for their climate policies and actions.
Read the full survey synopsis.
Check out the results at a glance.
Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards
Purus Project Open for Public Comment
The Purus Project in Acre, Brazil is currently open for public comment under its CCB requirement to verify project outcomes. To date, the project has prevented deforestation of almost 35 thousand hectares of land and preserved habitat for endangered and vulnerable species including giant anteaters and short-eared dogs (pictured here). These activities and others have allowed the project to achieve Biodiversity Gold Level with the CCB Standards.
The project’s Implementation Report is currently open for comment. Comment now.
Project Stories in the Works
Thanks to those who responded to our call for project stories in the last newsletter. We’re working on those stories and look forward to sharing them soon. In the meantime, if your VCS project has a great story that goes along with it, let us know.