VCS strives to ensure that projects registered with the VCS Program meet the highest standards of quality and environmental integrity. To that end, VCS issued a call for public input on two topics of concern to ensure stakeholders had an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and to facilitate any potential revisions to the VCS Program rules. VCS is considering revising its rules to address concerns related to:
- Projects with long planning periods: The VCS Program rules currently exclude projects which have been operating for periods of time without the benefit of carbon finance (on the premise that such projects are viable without it, and thus not additional). However, it is not clear whether it is appropriate to introduce additional rules for projects which have been in their planning stages for extended periods.
- Projects with negative environmental, social and/or economic impacts: The VCS Program rules currently require all projects to summarize any environmental impact assessments or stakeholder consultations undertaken, and AFOLU projects must mitigate identified potential negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. However, it is not clear whether it is appropriate to introduce more prescriptive rules for all project types with respect to the assessment or mitigation of these impacts.
The call for public input is available on the VCS website and includes further background on the above topics, specific questions for which feedback was sought and instructions for submitting comments.
The call for public input was open from 18 June to 17 August 2015. VCS hosted a webinar to introduce the call for public input on 1 July 2015, and a recording of the webinar is available here. A synopsis of comments received is available here.
VCS will take due account of all comments received, and may subsequently draft revisions to the VCS Program rules. Any new rules related to the call for public input will likely be subject to stakeholder consultation prior to their release.
As always, please address any questions to email@example.com.