Data and Insights: Colombia

VCS Quarterly Update

ISSUE #2 - Q3/2020
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We are pleased to present the second quarterly “Data & Insights” brief for Colombia which covers updated cumulative data on VCS activity in the country through September 2020, including on project status, project types, as well as VCU issuances and retirements (for both voluntary and compliance purposes).

As the rest of the world, Colombia still finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic which has impacted all economic sectors. While the voluntary carbon markets have not been immune to these circumstances, the development of new VCS projects in Colombia as well as VCU issuances and retirements seem to continue reflecting the upward trends we saw before the onset of the pandemic.

Main Takeaways

Significant increase in issuances and retirements between Q2 and Q3 of 2020

Between Q2 and to Q3 of 2020, VCU issuances and retirements increased significantly, at least in part due to projects completing validation and verification during Q2.

New VCS projects continue to be developed at a steady pace

More than half of VCS projects in Colombia are in the AFOLU sector (56% or 33 projects compared to 17 projects at the end of Q2). This comes as no surprise since the country’s AFOLU sector holds great potential for generating carbon credits and these activities also generate a number of co-benefits for local communities and biodiversity.

AFOLU projects continue to dominate

The year 2018 saw the highest number of VCU issuances so far, more than 9 million tons have been issued and retired in Colombia, an increase of 16% compared to 2019.

REDD + projects continue to be the fastest growing category

Most of the AFOLU projects in Colombia (23 projects or 67%) are REDD+ projects which continue to contribute the vast majority of VCU issuances of all AFOLU projects (holding steady at 97%).

VCS Data and Insights: Colombia - Q3/2020
This chart includes cumulative data about VCS projects in Colombia.
Project Total
Under Development 11
Under Validation 5
Registration Requested 6
Registered 36
Transferred* 1
*Projects whose credits were transferred from another GHG program
Project Types
Project Total
Energy 22
Manufacturing 2
Waste 2
*Agriculture, Forestry, and Land Use
AFOLU Project Types
Afforestation, Restoration, Reforestation
Blue Carbon
Project Total
Afforestation, Restoration, Reforestation 10
REDD+ 22
Blue Carbon 1
32,016,851 Expected Annual Reductions from All Projects in Colombia
Summary Totals to Date
VCU Issuances* (Total to Date)

*One VCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that was removed from the atmosphere or not emitted.

Greenhouse gas equivalencies for emission reductions and removals were calculated using the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

VCUs Globally (& equivalent)
cars taken off the road
for a year
21,993,543 VCUs from Projects in Colombia
Hover with your cursor over the bar to see what these emission reductions are equivalent to
VCU Issuances by Year
*The Colombian carbon tax was implemented at the end of 2016.
**as of 30 September, 2020
VCU Issuances by Project Type
Project Type VCUs
AFOLU* 21,560,828
Energy 412,993
Waste 19,722
*Agriculture, Forestry, and Land Use
VCU Issuances by AFOLU* Project Type
Project Type VCUs Percentage of Total
REDD 20,954,604 97.2%
ARR 606,224 2.8%

ALM – Agricultural Land Management
ARR – Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegation
IFM – Improved Forest Management
REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
WRC – Wetland Restoration and Conservation

*AFOLU – Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use
VCUs that have been purchased and taken off the market forever; a retired VCU represents a carbon offset.
19,759,570 VCUs
cars taken off the road
for a year
1,723,658 VCUs Retired for Voluntary Purposes
17,899,571 VCUs Retired for Compliance Purposes