Letter from CEO David Antonioli
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
I am just back from IETA’s Latin America Carbon Forum and it was an upbeat note in a year marked by uncertainty. I arrived in Costa Rica expecting to find a region disappointed by the lack of US action, but instead found a region that is taking matters into its own hands. Costa Rica, for example, has made a commitment to carbon neutrality (and will accept VCUs along with Gold Standard VERs and CERs in its framework). In Colombia several partners are creating a voluntary framework that will include GHG inventories and forest and land-use projects. And Chile, of course, is advancing the Santiago Climate Exchange where local corporations can buy and retire VCUs and CERs to help meet voluntary commitments.
And then, back in the US, Chevy said last week it is halfway to meeting its pledge of investing $40 million in voluntary GHG projects, which will reduce up to 8 million tons of CO2e. Check out www.chevycarbonreduction.com.
At VCS, we are moving swiftly to develop new requirements that should help keep carbon markets moving forward in 2012. In October, we will release rules for a new AFOLU project category – the Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands. And we will continue our work drafting guidelines for jurisdictional REDD frameworks – see our new fact sheet described below. In the coming months, we expect to release final requirements for standardized approaches to baselines and additionality, which will streamline project development and reduce transaction costs. If you have not yet done so, I invite you to look at the draft requirements and submit comments before the end of the 60-day public comment period. Your input is key to helping make these new tools as robust and practical as they can be.
Jurisdictional and Nested REDD: Draft technical requirements coming soon
Draft technical requirements for the jurisdiction-wide accounting and crediting of REDD activities will be released for comment in coming months. This week, a technical expert committee is submitting draft recommendations to an Advisory Committee of civil society, private sector and government leaders.
Once completed, the new requirements will set out rules for accounting and crediting nationwide, regional and/or project-level efforts that Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). In September, VCS released a fact sheet on this groundbreaking work and a scoping document, setting out the range of issues to be explored. Read more
VCS Program Version 3: Updates to be issued 18 October
On 18 October, VCS will release a round of updates to Version 3 Program Documents. The updates will incorporate Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands as an eligible activity. The updates will also include new requirements for AFOLU projects registering sequentially under CDM and VCS, as well as a clarified process for methodology oversight and clear steps for updating approved VCS methodologies. Look for our announcement next Tuesday.
Draft standardized methods: Public consultation ends 30 October
On 30 October, our draft requirements for two new standardized methods for determining baselines and additionality will complete their public comment period. The new requirements for performance methods and activity methods are open for comment until 30 October at 6 p.m. US EDT. Read the draft requirements and send comments email@example.com.
New ozone-depleting substances methodology completes approval process
On 20 September, a methodology to quantify emission reductions from activities that recover and destroy ozone-depleting substances (ODS) was approved for use under the VCS Program. The methodology, developed by USG Umweltservice GmbH and Energy Changes Projektentwicklung GmbH, is applicable to project activities in any country that recover and destroy ODS refrigerants, ODS blowing agents or both. Read the methodology
Agricultural land management methodology submitted for public comment
On 5 October, an 18-module, agricultural land management (ALM) methodology was posted for public consultation, the first step in the VCS methodology approval process. The new methodology, developed by The Earth Partners, would apply to ALM projects on grasslands, rangelands, croplands or forest lands. The methodology is open for comment until 3 November. Read more or submit a comment