Data and Insights

VCS Quarterly Update

Issue #4 - Q3/2020

We are pleased to share with you the quarterly update for Q3/2020 about project types, issuances, and retirements under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program. We hope this first year of quarterly reports has provided valuable insight to you and that you find them to be useful resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact economic activity around the globe and the question of how it is affecting the voluntary carbon markets is on the minds of many. At Verra, we are starting to see VCU issuances strongly rebounding. Read on for more detail and other findings.

Main Takeaways

Q3 sees uptick in VCU issuances.

While we saw a temporary dip in VCU issuances in Q1 and early Q2 of 2020, the end of Q2 saw a resurgence. In Q3, this trend continued, showing a substantial uptick in VCU issuances. Each month of Q3 far surpassed the historical average of VCU issuances, and July and September issuances even had the highest issuances ever for these months.

AFOLU issuances starting to pick up slack.

While non-AFOLU issuances have been surpassing AFOLU issuances during the past year, in Q3 of 2020 AFOLU issuances were significantly higher than in Q2.

VCS Data and Insights – Q3/2020
Projects
1,987
total projects
1,698
projects registered
289
projects in the pipeline*
*A pipeline project is a project in the early phases of project development and implementation that is listed on the Verra registry and is currently undergoing or has completed its 30-day public comment period.
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

481,646,448
VCUs
104,056,617
cars taken off the road
for a year
277,782,628 Non-AFOLU* VCUs
203,863,820 AFOLU* VCUs
131,612,745 AFOLU* VCUs with CCB Label**
Hover with your cursor over the bar to see what these emission reductions are equivalent to
*AFOLU – Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use
**VCUs with the CCB label were issued by projects that are validated to the CCB Standards and have verified climate, community and biodiversity benefits for the same verification period in which the VCUs were generated.
AFOLU and Non-AFOLU Issuances Over Time
AFOLU Issuances
Non-AFOLU Issuances
Total Issuances
AFOLU Issuances
Non-AFOLU Issuances
Retirements to Date
VCUs that have been purchased and taken off the market forever; a retired VCU represents a carbon offset
283,989,846
VCUs
61,354,180
cars taken off the road
for a year
188,499,666 Non-AFOLU* VCUs
95,490,180 AFOLU* VCUs
41,338,145 AFOLU* VCUs with CCB Label**
*AFOLU – Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use
**VCUs with the CCB label were issued by projects that are validated to the CCB Standards and have verified climate, community and biodiversity benefits for the same verification period in which the VCUs were generated.
Project-Specific Data
Projects by Region
Region Projects Percentage of Total
Asia 1,145 69.5%
North America 95 5.8%
South and Central America 253 15.4%
Oceania 8 0.5%
Africa 94 5.7%
Europe 53 3.2%
VCU Issuances by Region
Region VCUs Percentage of Total
Asia 280,810,319 58.3%
North America 28,565,075 5.9%
South and Central America 106,829,476 22.2%
Oceania 1,406,509 0.3%
Africa 55,912,791 11.6%
Europe 8,122,278 1.7%
AFOLU* Projects
by Region
Region Projects Percentage of Total
Asia 43 22.2%
North America 10 5.2%
South and Central America 88 45.4%
Oceania 6 3.1%
Africa 47 24.2%
Europe 0 0%
AFOLU* VCU Issuances
by Region
Region VCUs Percentage of Total
Asia 57,890,981 28.4%
North America 3,244,764 1.6%
South and Central America 88,851,537 43.6%
Oceania 1,325,133 0.7%
Africa 52,551,405 25.8%
Europe 0 0%
*AFOLU – Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use
AFOLU* Projects by Project Type
Type Projects Percentage of Total
WRC 1 0.5%
REDD 76 39.2%
ALM 3 1.5%
IFM 21 10.8%
ARR 93 47.9%
VCU Issuances by AFOLU* Project Type
Type VCUs Percentage of Total
WRC 18,191,030 8.9%
REDD 166,937,715 81.9%
ALM 325,825 0.2%
IFM 5,684,797 2.8%
ARR 12,724,453 6.2%
*AFOLU – Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use

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

Concluding Thoughts

The overall market outlook is strong. Despite being a rocky year, 2020 has shown the durability of corporate commitments. Every week, or even every day, seems to result in a new corporate announcement on a net-zero or carbon-neutral target. The strong resurgence of issuances despite rising global COVID-19 cases indicates that companies are moving forward with their goals. The news of a vaccine and the beginning of vaccination campaigns bodes well for continued market growth.