June/July 2017 Newsletter
We hope everyone is having a fruitful summer. Here at VCS, we have been thinking a lot about how we are growing as an organization while remaining true to our core work of managing standards that facilitate positive social and environmental impacts. In the last few months, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing several pieces of ongoing work that advance our mission come together. First and foremost, I’d like to congratulate our team and our partners on the release of the first draft of the ICAT guidance, now available for public consultation. They, along with more than 160 technical working group members, put in an enormous amount of time and effort to develop this new work, which seeks to help countries assess and report on the impacts of their climate policies and actions. We hope you’ll take a look at what they have produced and share your thoughts.
I’m also thrilled to share that we are developing a brand new standard, the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta), to further our work to better account for the social and economic impacts of projects. Read on below for more information and an opportunity to help shape the standard as part of the advisory committee.
Finally, as a part of our ongoing focus on refining and managing our standards to ensure best practice, we announced a call for public input on a sustainability assessment we are proposing for all hydropower projects being developed under the VCS Program. We are also happy to announce our collaboration with the Standards Council of Canada to provide accreditation for validation and verification bodies, as well as some program updates that could be useful. More information on this and other announcements below.
ICAT Draft Guidance Now Open for Public Consultation
Our partnership initiative, the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency, released draft guidance this Wednesday, representing more than a year of work and contributions from more than 160 technical working group members. We are now seeking input on the guidance, which provides methods to help users assess the impacts of climate-related policies and actions. Visit the site or sign up for a webinar to learn more about the consultation, or provide your comments directly.
Introducing SD Vista: Help Shape this New Standard
We’re pleased to announce the development of the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta). SD VISta builds on our experience developing and managing the VCS Program and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, and is intended to address the challenges of consistently and transparently assessing and communicating the economic, social and environmental impacts of projects, especially in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.
To help ensure the standard drives new finance to high-impact sustainable development projects, we are currently seeking interested parties to join an advisory committee. The advisory committee will provide strategic input and guidance on the content of the standard and review drafts before they are put out to for public consultation. For more on this new standard and how to apply to be on the advisory committee, please see our full post on the VCS site.
Hydropower Sustainability Assessments Call for Public Input
VCS is considering revising its rules to require hydropower projects to perform a ‘hydropower-specific’ sustainability assessment, and has issued a 60-day call for public input to receive feedback on our proposal for doing so. The call opened on 11 July and will close on 8 September. Details of VCS’ proposed update to our rules can be found in the call for public input. Please follow the link to learn more and provide your input.
Standards Council of Canada now Accrediting VCS VVBs
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) have collaborated to offer a new accreditation sub-program for greenhouse gas (GHG) validation and verification bodies (VVBs). SCC now can accredit VVBs to provide GHG validation and verification services through the VCS Program. See our announcementfor more information.
CCB and VCS Program Updates
In June, we rolled out a number of updates to CCB and VCS Program documents that streamline use of the programs and introduce a number of other important changes and clarifications. Updates include new project document templates for all CCB Standards editions and a new streamlined review process for projects using both the VCS and CCB Standards. More highlights of the program updates are available on our website. Find a full list of updates and their applicable grace periods for the CCB Program here and for the VCS Program here.
VCS Projects Open for Public Comment
Two VCS Projects are currently open for public comment. The Agricultural Land Management project in Beed District, India implemented by Godrej Properties Ltd. promotes holistic watershed development that integrates carbon sequestration through tree plantations, differential cropping, and vermicomposting. The draft project description is open for public comment until 6 August. The 3MW Solar PV based power generation by Jindal Poly Films project is installing a greenfield solar power plant at the proponent’s manufacturing facility to displace emissions from the grid. The draft project description is open for public comment until 27 August.
VCS in the Media
- Evolving forest policy in China
- Colombia to allow emitters to use offsets to cover CO2 tax obligations – “The option to use offsets to cover 100% of compliance obligations could provide a “huge boost” to projects generating credible emissions reductions.”