In the last newsletter I mentioned how, as Verra, we are focused on some overarching themes, including sustaining and scaling up high-impact climate projects, facilitating the integration of REDD+ across all levels, bringing more focus to sustainable development, and pioneering innovative standards. In this newsletter we are delighted to share some concrete announcements related to these themes, including various opportunities for you to share your thoughts with us.
You will see that last week we put out for public consultation several key elements of the VCS Program, with a view to creating the next version of the program that will complement global efforts to address climate change. Given impending decisions on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the eligibility of units for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), continued integration of REDD+ projects and jurisdictional programs, and sustained growth in the voluntary carbon market, we are hopeful that VCS version 4 will continue to play a key role in addressing climate change.
We are also excited to share some news about new standards frameworks we are developing. For example, we are convening the Advisory Group for the Landscape Standard to ensure it drives sustainability across entire landscapes. In addition, we are about to issue a second public consultation on SD VISta, following the first consultation which provided some tremendously useful input. In addition, the ICAT guidance designed to help countries assess the impacts of their climate policies will be ready for use within the next few weeks.
As we continue to manage and develop standards frameworks that drive finance towards activities that promote sustainable development, we look forward to hearing your thoughts. Public consultation and participation in the development of standards is a critical part of the process and we invite you to share your insights.
VCS Program version 4 out for Public Consultation
As we announced last week, Verra has launched a public consultation on the next version of the VCS Program: VCS Version 4. This consultation is aimed at receiving your feedback on the major proposed updates to the VCS Program which will form the basis for VCS Version 4. The consultation is guided by a VCS Version 4 Consultation Roadmap . The Consultation Roadmap sets out a catalogue of proposals which will make up the core of VCS Version 4. For each proposal, we have prepared an individual consultation document which sets out the background and details of each proposal, upon which we welcome your feedback. We encourage you to review and respond to as many proposals as you’re able, though we’ve designed the consultation to help facilitate your review of those proposals most relevant to your work. The consultation will run for 60 days, ending on 16 July. After the consultation, we’ll use your input to finalize the content of VCS Version 4, or potentially run a second consultation. As always, please let us know if you have any questions as you engage in this consultation. We look forward to your feedback.
LS public call for Advisory Group members
Business-as-usual models of land management, natural resource use and infrastructure development continue to threaten water quality and availability, soil health, and ecosystem integrity while greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change intensify. No matter how well a given actor manages resources, meaningful sustainability cannot be achieved without considering the cumulative impact of activities across an entire landscape. Despite this, there are currently no global standards to assess progress towards key sustainability outcomes at a landscape scale, beyond the performance of a specific land use, sector or actor.
To address this, Verra, in partnership with Rainforest Alliance, Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance, Proforest, Solidaridad, the Nature Conservation Research Center, and IUCN are developing the Landscape Standard (LS) — a framework that will help companies, governments, financiers, and donors credibly assess and report on progress towards environmental, social and economic sustainability in productive landscapes.
To help ensure effective strategic input from and engagement with a broad range of potential stakeholders (e.g., related initiatives, governments, producer organizations and companies), we are currently seeking interested parties to join the LS global Advisory Group to help ensure the framework demonstrates value for key stakeholders, and that it is workable and efficient to apply in practice. For more information on this new standard and how to apply to join the Advisory Group please see the full post on the Verra website, the newly released Terms of Reference for the Landscape Standard and the Terms of Reference for the Advisory Group. Applications will be accepted through 15 June.
Coming Soon: Public Consultation on SD VISta
If you’re a project developer, corporate, investor, government or assessment body interested in certification of sustainable development projects, we need your help to ensure the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) meets your needs. Watch for our upcoming consultation on this exciting program in early June. Our first round of consultation brought in comments from nine countries, which will be posted publicly at the start of the June consultation.
ICAT Guidance Release
Our partnership initiative, the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency, is preparing to release its May 2018 version of guidance. The ICAT guidance helps users assess the impacts of policies and actions that reduce GHG emissions, achieve sustainable development outcomes and drive transformational change. Complementary guidance is provided on engaging stakeholders, undertaking technical review of an impact assessment, and integrating the impacts of non-state and subnational action into an assessment. 61 reviewers representing 24 countries provided feedback on the draft guidance during public consultation last year. Thank you to all who helped improve the guidance. The guidance will be further improved with country case studies and practical experience next year. Visit the ICAT website to learn more about the ten guidance documents.
Site visit to Tambopata REDD+ project
As part of their participation in the Initiative 20×20 Annual Meeting in Lima, Peru in late April David Antonioli (Verra CEO) and Sarah Lupberger (Manager, Sustainable Landscapes) visited the Tambopata REDD+ project in the Peruvian Amazon designed to reduce deforestation and degradation in and around the Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. The project, which is financed by Althelia and implemented by the Asociación para la Investigación y Desarrollo Integral (AIDER) in collaboration with the Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Tambopata Candamo (COOPASER) on behalf of the Peruvian National Service for Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP), is helping farmers to sustainably produce cacao as a means to reduce pressure on the forest.
The project is a great example of how forest conservation and restoration can work together. Please see our blog post with a full description of the site visit and details on the project.
Note also that we recently published three case studies highlighting how successful REDD+ projects can help to contribute to national climate goals, transform local forest economies, and address leakage. You can find those at our website here.
The new Verra logos are here, along with the logos for the VCS, CCB and SD VISta programs. If you are using the old VCS logo and/or the old program logos please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the new logos and instructions for use.
2018 Event Participation
Verra is planning to participate in and sponsor a number of industry conferences and events this year. We would love to connect if you’re planning on attending any of them. Find us at:
- Innovate 4 Climate – May 22-24 in Frankfurt, Germany
- Global Sustainable Aviation Summit – October 2-3 in Geneva, Switzerland
- Sustainable Brands New Metrics – October 29-31 in Philadelphia, PA
- BSR Conference 2018 – November 6-8 in New York, NY
Methodology for Time-Shifted Electricity Consumption Targeting Less Carbon-Intensive Generation
There are billions of devices worldwide that consume energy from electricity grids. Most devices, from air conditioners to electric cars, have some flexibility in exactly when they must consume electricity. Despite this flexibility, devices consume electricity regardless of the frequently-changing carbon intensity of their electricity grid. In an effort to reduce emissions, WattTime, a non-profit subsidiary of the Rocky Mountain Institute, has developed an innovative “Internet of Things” technology and accompanying methodology that assesses the carbon intensity of an electricity grid in real-time in order to identify periods for connected devices to use less carbon-intensive electricity by initiating their energy consumption earlier or later than intended. The methodology applies to project activities using a carbon advisory service to shift the electricity usage of devices from times of high carbon intensity to periods of lower carbon intensity. The methodology uses an activity method for the demonstration of additionality, which will help streamline the project development and assessment process.
The full draft of the Methodology for Time-Shifted Electricity Consumption Targeting Less Carbon-Intensive Generation is available on our website for you to review. Please send any comments to email@example.com by 25 May 2018.
VCS and CCB Projects Open for Public Comment
The following projects are currently open for public comment by email at the links provided below.
VCS Pipeline public comment period
- The Haidar El Ali Mangrove Initiative (HEAMI) will train community members in mangrove restoration and sustainable ecosystem management in Senegal’s coastal regions.
- The Methane Recovery and Power Generation Project at ESIPL will capture methane emissions from a starch factory’s waste water and use the captured greenhouse gas for power generation.
- The Bundled Solar Power Project by Solararise India Projects PVT. LTD will annually offset over 213 thousand tons of CO2 through solar power.
VCS Pipeline & CCB Validation public comment period
- The Grouped Project for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation-REDD-in the Regional Natural Park:Biological Corridor PNN Purace-PNN Cueva de los Guacharos will reduce deforestation and protect important habitat for one critically endangered species, the solitary eagle, and five endangered species.
CCB Verification public comment period
- The Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary project has reduced deforestation in over 25,000 ha of forest in Cambodia, protecting habitat for more than 40 globally threatened species including the Asian Elephant, black-shanked douc, and crested gibbon.
- The Chocó-Darién Conservation Corridor REDD Project has halted illegal mining and logging activities in the Darién region of northwest Colombia through surveillance activities and provided access to courses and other educational resources for community members.