Dear Colleague,

I hope you had a good start to the new year.

As we enter this new year, there is good reason to be optimistic that the United States will join the rest of the world to address climate change in a comprehensive and cohesive way. The freshly inaugurated President Biden has already issued an Executive Order for the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement and partake in the development of an ambitious domestic climate plan. After four years in the climate wilderness, the United States can finally step up to the challenge and join other countries keen on doing the same.

The year 2020 may well be recognized as the year the voluntary carbon market demonstrated it is both resilient and a key element in our collective efforts to address climate change. Despite gloomy projections during the early part of the pandemic, the voluntary carbon market grew, and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program alone ended the year with 140.5 million VCUs issued — a record-setting number and an increase of 20 million tonnes compared to 2019!

In a recent article “Long Live the Voluntary Carbon Market” in IETA’s Greenhouse Gas Market Report “2050 Vision”, I reflect on some key trends that will shape this nimble and quick-to-adapt market going forward. Understanding the past is critical, and we are thankful for the hard work of an ICROA working group which developed a comprehensive timeline setting out how the voluntary carbon market evolved to become an important tool for climate action.

In addition, we are excited about Verra’s soon-to-be-launched Plastic Waste Reduction Standard (Plastic Standard) which is ideally suited to address plastic waste, one of the most critical environmental issues and a major threat to our oceans. The Plastic Standard will support projects designed to help tackle the plastic pollution crisis, scaling up plastic waste collection and recycling projects around the world.

For more updates on how Verra is advancing climate action and sustainable development in numerous ways, please read on.


David Antonioli

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