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Dear Colleague,

This November was a big milestone for our organization. On November 19th, VCS turned 10. We are immensely proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the last decade and have several new endeavours in motion that we are eager to carry through into the next 10 years. We are adding new initiatives to our family of programs, such as SD VISta, which as an outgrowth of the CCB Program will assess sustainable development impacts across metrics related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. SD VISta is currently under development and seeking pilot testers. We also continue to improve our flagship programs, with recent adjustments made to the VCS and CCB program fee schedules in order the better serve large and small issuers alike, as well as new methodologies on temperate peatlands and mosaic forest degradation.

Like many of you, we were eager observers at COP23, looking to see what news the negotiations might bring for voluntary carbon markets. Though progress was slow, we were pleased to see some concrete next steps for markets emerge out of the Article 6 discussions. How to move forward with jurisdictional and nested REDD+ also remained a contentious issue at the forefront of COP23 discussions. We’ll be contributing to that conversation in an upcoming webinar, linked below. Finally, we have also recently joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and look forward to working with other members to move the needle on putting a price on carbon.

Read on below for more details on the above and more. Have a happy holiday season, however you celebrate, and we will see you again for our next newsletter in 2018.


David Antonioli

Reflections on the Last Decade

This November marked 10 years of VCS. We are reflecting on the last decade and planning for the next. 

We are thrilled to pass this milestone and conscious of all the work that has gone into making it a reality. To our partners and stakeholders, thank you for your support, insight and tenacity over the last decade. We will be celebrating our 10th year over the course of 2018, with events, updates and a few surprises. To kick us off, we are sharing our top 10 milestones from the last 10 years along with plans for the future. Read the full post to find out what made the list and learn more about what’s in store for this banner year.


Help Pilot SD VISta

The Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard Project Requirements have been drafted and are currently being reviewed by our Standard Development Advisory Committee. Soon we’ll be asking for your input—look for an announcement of public consultation on this first public version in January. In the meantime, please let us know if you or someone you know would be interested in pilot testing SD VISta Project Requirements with a specific project to provide feedback on the requirements set out in the standard. Piloting the standard will help us refine the standard and thus improve it, and we would be delighted to have many pilots to gather a wide variety of inputs. Find out more about piloting.

VCS Joins Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition

We are proud to announce that we have joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. We have been watching the advances of the CPLC with interest and are thrilled to join the community of climate leaders that this unique initiative brings together. We believe that now, more than ever, is a pivotal time to put a price on carbon and transform the global economy from one of unsustainable business as usual to one that is sustainable for people and the planet. VCS is excited to bring our long-standing expertise in running a greenhouse gas crediting program and all that that entails to help shape the carbon pricing mechanisms of the future.

Updated VCS and CCB Program Fee Schedule

Our recently updated fee schedule lowers costs for large issuances of VCUs and CCB labels. We extended the existing VCU issuance levy sliding scale to apply lower VCU levy rates to higher issuance volumes. We also introduced a sliding scale for the CCB label fee which mirrors that of the VCU issuance levy. Finally, we broadened the scenarios in which the sliding scales apply. These updates are effective retroactively to VCUs and CCB labels issued from 1 January 2017. The concept behind a sliding scale for large issuances also covers the methodology compensation fee, which has been updated as well. Changes to the methodology compensation fee, however, are effective 1 January 2018. See our blog post for information on the new fee rates.

Two New Methodologies Finalized

Silvestrum Climate Associates and University of Greifswaldhave developed the first VCS methodology to focus on temperate peatlands, which allows for the estimation of GHG emissions from drained and rewetted peatlands and also accounts for changes in carbon stocks in selected non-peat carbon pools. For more information on this methodology and the unique GEST model it uses, see our full post.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India and Iora Ecological Solutions have developed a new REDD+ methodology that focuses on mosaic forest degradation and deforestation in South Asia. It is the first methodology to include the option for community-based monitoring, which can strengthen forest management. For more on this methodology and the drivers it addresses, see our full post.

VCS Program Projects Open for Public Comment

Projects open for public comment this round are all about renewable energy. The Escuela de Minas Hydroelectric Project in Colombia is installing a run-of-river power plant. Biomass Power Projects by Spark Green Energy Group India will replace fossil fuel power with agriculture biomass. Bundled Wind Power Project by Mytrah Group, also in India, will export wind energy to the regional grid. Finally, Bundled Solar PV based power generation by JKLCL, again in India, will install rooftop solar PV across manufacturing facilities. Draft Project Descriptions from each of these projects are open for public comment by email.

Webinar: Nesting REDD+ Projects into Programmes

Join our CEO David Antonioli for a webinar in partnership with Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace. The webinar series explores the latest forest carbon market trends. For this installment, David and other panelists Mike Korchinsky of Wildlife Works, and Silvia Gomez Caviglia of Greenoxx (tentative) will share insights into the current state of “nesting” REDD+ projects into national programs.