Natural Climate Solutions

Photo by Jon Alcock

Thirty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by forest destruction and poor agricultural practices. Natural climate solutionsalso referred to as Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU)are an effective approach to reducing and removing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Verra’s VCS Program leads the way in developing methodologies and other tools to unlock the carbon reduction potential of AFOLU projects. The Verified Carbon Standard is the most widely used standard in the sector.

AFOLU projects fall under the following categories:

  • Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR)
  • Agricultural Land Management (ALM)
  • Improved Forest Management (IFM)
  • Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
  • Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands (ACoGS)
  • Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC)

One of the biggest challenges for AFOLU projects is the appropriate handling of natural risks (e.g., fire, pests, hurricanes, climate change), internal management risks (e.g., project management, financial viability), and external risks (e.g., community engagement, land tenure). To preserve the environmental integrity of VCUs issued from AFOLU projects, Verra manages a pooled buffer account. Every AFOLU project is required to deposit a risk-adjusted percentage of the emission reductions and removals achieved into the pool which is managed by Verra. If and as reversals occur in any single project in the system, the carbon losses are covered through the cancellation of an equivalent number of buffer credits from the buffer pool.