From new methodologies with potentially wide reaching applicability, to some key tools and procedures that allow for the constantly growing VCS Program to continue to remain adaptable and robust moving forward, 2014 is shaping up to be a very big year, both for us here, and the voluntary market as a whole.
VCS Approves Two Groundbreaking Methodologies
On the methodology front, there are now two exciting new options for project developers. In the first, Chevrolet teamed up with the Climate Neutral Business Network to create a methodology that allows U.S. educational facilities to monetize the emission reductions achieved through energy efficiency and renewable energy activities on campus; Chevrolet will buy some of the VCUs issued by projects using the methodology.
Secondly, an exciting new methodology, developed by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority unlocks the power of carbon finance to restore coastal wetlands. While it currently only applies to the United States, it provides a great framework that could be expanded to cover coastal wetlands in other parts of the world.
We are particularly glad to see that these two methodology developers followed our requirements for standardized methods that reduce transaction costs for projects. The energy efficiency methodology follows a performance method, while the coastal restoration methodology follows an activity method. Be sure to check in with our Program Team if you have any questions on how these methodologies can work for you.
Program Update Grace Periods Ending:
You will recall that back in October, as part of our annual program update, we put in place several key provisions that would make the overall VCS Program stronger, as well as easier to implement. Key among these provisions was a six-month grace period for transitioning away from using old VCS templates for registration and issuance requests, those six months have now come and gone. Moving forward, please make sure you are using the current versions, which you can find on the Program Documents page of our website.
Additionally, we continue to streamline the project review process to better work with VVBs and ultimately strengthen our relationships with the accreditation bodies with whom we work. I am glad to report that the process has gone smoothly and that we are managing the workflow effectively. If you have any further questions about this process, be sure to visit the quality control section of our website.
A New Resource for REDD+
There is a new resource recently released by the USAID-supported Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities (FCMC) Program that can help VCS project developers, JNR program developers, or other organizations. The Knowledge and Skills Needed to Engage in REDD+: A Competencies Framework outlines the proficiencies needed for an individual or a larger team individual to effectively design and implement REDD+ activities. Please note also that we are working closely with FCMC to develop a guidance document for jurisdictions implementing the JNR framework that we hope to release in a few months.
Finally, some housekeeping: The application deadlines for both our Program Officer and Senior Program Officerpositions are fast approaching. Be sure to get your application in ASAP if you are interested.
In addition, we are undertaking some limited market research to help us better serve you moving forward. If you are a VCS project developer, VVB, or carbon retailer, I ask you to take just a few minutes of your time and offer your thoughts. Please note that this is an internal piece of research and we will not publicly release any of its findings. As such, you have my personal assurance that your responses will remain confidential.
Again, thank you for all that you do for the VCS, and I look forward to catching up with you personally in the coming months, either at Carbon Expo or perhaps a different event.
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