Verified Carbon Standards (VCS), the world’s leading voluntary program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said its rules for carbon offset projects will no longer allow projects that destroy potent greenhouse gas HFC-23 to earn carbon credits, betting that international efforts to regulate the gases will be successful.
The refrigerant industry introduced HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, to replace CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, which were banned because they damaged the Ozone Layer that protects the Earth from excessive solar radiation.
Jerry Seager, chief program officer at the nonprofit VCS, said in a note late on Thursday that the U.N.’s Montreal Protocol is the appropriate mechanism for addressing HFC-23 emissions, despite the role that carbon markets have played relating to the chemical.
VCS said it could consider whether market incentives should be reconsidered in this area “should there be little progress towards direct international regulation of HFC emissions over the coming years.”
Countries that are parties to the Montreal Protocol are trying to reach an agreement to drastically reduce the use of HFCs, heat-trapping gases that are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO₂).