The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program is managed by Verra with the support of Verra’s Board members, staff, advisory groups and committees, and stakeholder input collected through engagement.

The VCS AG serves as a strategic resource to support the development of the VCS Program. The AG’s guidance ensures the VCS Program meets the needs of the carbon market as it evolves and scales up its climate benefits. The AG also helps ensure that the VCS Program includes rules and requirements in support of the ambition to halve global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and reach net zero GHG emissions by mid-century.

Applications for VCS Program Advisory Group Membership are currently closed.

Angela Churie Kallhauge, Executive Vice President, Impact at Environmental Defense Fund
Philip Cohn, Managing Director & Head of Carbon Investments at Pollination
Ruth Dagan, Partner, Head of Environment and Climate Change at Herzog Fox & Neeman
Sam Gill, Co-Founder & President at Sylvera
David Gwenzi, External Advisor at Volkswagen ClimatePartner
Dharsono Hartono, CEO at PT Rimba Makmur Utama
Tracy Johns, Carbon Removal Specialist at Meta (BASCS representative)
Edit Kiss, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer at Integrity Global Partners
Peter Konijn, Certification Director, Land Use and Digital Solutions at SustainCERT
Bruno Melo da Matta, CEO at brCarbon (NBS Brazil Alliance representative)
Jackie Mercer, Program Manager at Environment and Climate Change Canada
Campbell Moore, Managing Director, Global Carbon Markets at The Nature Conservancy
Eric Nowak, Professor & Director at Center for Climate Finance and Sustainability, USI Lugano
Tripurari Prasad, Director, Carbon Solutions at HSBC
Anshari Rahman, Director, Policy & Analytics at GenZero (Verra Board of Directors representative)
Diego Saez Gil, Co-Founder & CEO at Pachama
Cecilia Simon, Independent Consultant
Kaviraj Singh, Founder & Managing Director at Earthood Services Private Limited
Leon-Jacques Theron, Carbon Project Development Director at Conservation International
Suraj Vanniarachchy, Vice President, Global Carbon at Macquarie Group Limited
Sarah Walker, Director of REDD+ at Wildlife Conservation Society
Stefan Winter, Certification Scheme Manager Sustainability at TÜV NORD CERT GmbH


Verra is committed to making certain that the VCS Program reflects the latest scientific research and is continually improved with respect to the consistency and accuracy of GHG emissions accounting. We follow ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice in the ongoing development of the VCS Program.

Visit the Governance and Development: Previous Versions page to view previous versions of the VCS Program.

The current version, VCS Version 4, was developed through a consultative process comprising two 60-day public consultations and engagement with many individual stakeholders, including project developers, methodology developers, validation/verification bodies, trade associations, NGOs, and other market participants.

Issues Currently Under Development

Between major version updates, Verra considers updates to the VCS Program documents intended to strengthen or expand the scope of the program and to ensure that projects deliver real, permanent, and additional emission reductions and removals. Issues currently under consideration are listed below.

Verra is launching a public consultation to inform the future development of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program. First announced on 17 January 2023, this consultation will solicit feedback on VCS process and program updates to improve the usability and outcomes of the program, both in the near term and as we plan for VCS Version 5.0. The consultation will be open from 6 February -7 April 20231.

Please provide comments and responses to the questions in the “Requested Feedback” section of the Consultation Document (PDF). Comments may be submitted via the Consultation Form (opens in Google Form) by 7 April 2023. Verra will review and incorporate the feedback in our planning for upcoming VCS Program updates.

Verra will host a webinar on Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 12:00 pm ET to provide an overview of the Consultation Document and process. A recording of the webinar will be made available here shortly afterward.

Register for the webinar on the future development of the VCS Program (link opens on Zoom site).

Please contact for any questions about the consultation.

– Creation of a new unit named the Projected Carbon Unit (PCU), formerly called the Early Finance Carbon Unit (EFCU), to support the development of VCS projects prior to the verification of GHG emission reductions/removals (ERRs) and issuance of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs).

This public consultation was open from 3 May 2022 to 1 June 2022.

Consultation Document: Public Consultation on the Projected Carbon Unit (PDF)

Summary of Comments (PDF)

Previous Version 4 Updates



August 2023 VCS Program Update Announcement (Release Date: 29 August 2023)

Corrections and Clarifications


Public Consultations

June 2023 Consultation

Verra held a public consultation on updates to align the Program with certain integrity initiatives in the voluntary carbon market, such as the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, and make the VCS eligible for the next phase of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.

Verra held a webinar on this consultation on July 17, 2023, at 12:00 pm ET.

Webinar Recording (zoom)
View Webinar Slide Deck (PDF)

View the Summary of Comments: June 2023 Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to the VCS Program (PDF)



The VCS Program Fee Schedule, v4.3 (PDF), was released on 30 March 2023. See the announcement and information about the effective dates here: Announcement: Updated Verra Program Fee Schedules.

Errata and Clarifications


VCS 2022 Q4 Update Announcement (Release Date: 21 December 2022)

  • Introduction of requirements for geologic carbon storage (GCS) activities, including associated tools and requirements
  • Updates to the requirements for VCS projects to help avoid double-counting in Scope 3 emissions inventories
  • Updates to the long-term average GHG benefit calculation and application for afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation projects, as well as improved forest management projects
  • Release of the VCS Methodology Development and Review Process, replacing the Methodology Approval Process

The full list of updates released, and their effective dates can be found in December 2022 VCS Program Update: Overview of Substantive Updates to Program Rules and Requirements and Effective Dates (PDF).

Verra held a webinar on Monday, 16 January 2023, at 12:00 pm ET to provide an overview of the above VCS Program updates.

Public Consultations

June 2022 Consultation

Verra held a public consultation from 30 June 2022 to 31 July 2022 on new VCU labels. For more information about this consultation, read the consultation document (PDF), watch the recording (vimeo), or view the slides (PDF).

View the New VCU Labels Consultation Report (PDF)

For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact

July 2022 Consultation

This public consultation was open from 13 July to 11 September 2022. On 27 July 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT, Verra held a webinar to provide an overview of the proposed updates. Watch the recording (opens on or view the slides (PDF). For more information, see:

August 2022 Consultation

This public consultation was open from 31 August to 30 September 2022. On 8 September 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT, Verra held a one-hour webinar to provide an overview of the proposed updates. Watch the recording (opens on or view the slides (PDF). For more information, see:



Update Overview (Release Date: 22 June 2022)

– Revised requirements and methods for estimating uncertainty;

– New requirements to mitigate non-permanence risk in grouped projects with multiple activity instances;

– Clarification of peer-reviewed literature requirements; and

– Formalized rules for VCU labels.

View the 2022 Q2 VCS Program Update (PDF) to find effective dates for these updates.

Announcement: Subsequent Project Instance Enrollments (PDF) (Release Date: 22 June 2022)

Update Overview (PDF) (Release Date: 29 April 2022)

– Clarifies that if project proponents use methodology elements (e.g., methodologies, modules, and tools) from VCS-approved GHG programs to develop projects in the VCS Program, they must use the latest version of the approved GHG program methodology element. Relevant grace period lengths apply.

Update Overview (PDF) (Release Date: 19 April 2022)

– Establishes that the VCS project start date for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Component Project Activities (CPAs) seeking to register in the VCS Program is the date on which each CPA began reducing or removing GHG emissions.

– Clarifies that the definitions for ‘Project Start Date’ and ‘Project Crediting Period Start Date’ are the same.

– Additional details about effective dates for the conversion of credits issued to CDM CPAs.

– Clarifies the grace periods for using previous versions of VCS methodologies.


February 2022 Consultation

– Updates to the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Non-permanence Risk Tool (PDF); if approved, these changes will also be reflected in the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) Non-permanence Risk Tool;

– Updates to uncertainty requirements;

– Introduction of tonne-year accounting;

– Guidance for landowners’ successive participation in different VCS projects;

– Clarification on managing non-permanence risk if one instance of an activity ceases to be part of a grouped project and if a project implementing multiple activities terminates one of its activities; and,

– Revised requirements for qualifying peer-reviewed literature.

This public consultation was open from 7 February 2022 to 8 April 2022.

Consultation Document: Proposed Updates to the VCS Program, February 2022 (PDF)

Additional Background Information on Tonne-Year Accounting (PDF)

Watch the Webinar Recording

View the Webinar Slides (PDF)

Summary of Comments (PDF)


January 2022 Consultation

Update Overview (Release Date: 20 January 2022)

– Required reporting on contributions to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

– The introduction of requirements for dynamic performance benchmarks; and

– New and revised requirements for agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) projects.

Effective dates for these updates can be found here.

View the 2022 Q1 VCS Program Update (PDF) to find effective dates for these updates.


December 2021 Consultation

– Proposing the development of a long-term reversal monitoring system

This public consultation was open from 15 December 2021 to 14 February 2022. We are reviewing all input received and will post a summary of comments.

Consultation Document: Proposal to Create a Long-term Reversal Monitoring System (PDF)

Summary of Public Comments: Proposal to Create a Long-Term Reversal Monitoring System (PDF)

Watch the Webinar Recording

View the Webinar Slides (PDF)

November 2021 Consultation

– Introducing requirements to make sustainable development reporting mandatory

These updates were open for consultation from 04 November to 05 December 2021.

Consultation Document: Proposed updates to the VCS Program, November 2021 (PDF)

Summary of Public Comments: Proposal for Mandatory Sustainable Development Contributions Reporting (PDF)

Watch the Webinar Recording


August 2021 Consultation

– Introducing requirements for dynamic performance benchmarks;

– Adding a pipeline listing deadline for all AFOLU projects and replacing the validation deadline with a pipeline listing deadline for AFOLU projects that are small-scale or generate removals;

– Revising project area requirements to allow tidal wetland projects to add land after the first verification;

– Modifying the language of the requirement related to the estimation of soil organic carbon stocks; and

– Updating a number of AFOLU project baseline requirements.

These updates were open for consultation from 23 August to 22 September 2021. We are revising all input received and will post a summary of contents in early November. We plan to finalize and release the updates to the VCS Program documents in Q4 2021.

Consultation Document: Proposed Updates to the VCS Program, August 2021 (PDF)

Summary of Public Comments: August-September 2021 VCS Program Update Proposals (PDF)

On 2 September 2021 at 11:00 am EDT, Verra held a one-hour webinar to provide an overview of the proposals.



Update Overview (Release Date: 22 April 2021)

Consultation Summary (PDF)

– Required use of IPCC Fifth Assessment Report global warming potential values (revised from Fourth Assessment Report values). See Section 3.14.4 for details, including information on effective dates.

– Clarified that VCUs used in the context of Paris Agreement Article 6 mechanisms and international Paris-related programs such as CORSIA must meet requirements established under such mechanisms and programs, including those relating to double counting and corresponding adjustments. Project proponents must use VCU labels to demonstrate adherence to such requirements (Section 3.20.1).

– Clarified that VCUs used for voluntary carbon market purposes do not require the VCU labels mentioned above, though labelled VCUs may be used for voluntary market transactions if desired (Section 3.20.2).

– Further clarified eligibility conditions (effective dates) for projects registered under another GHG program (see Appendix 2 Document History).


Update Overview (Release Date: 5 February 2021)

– Clarified eligibility conditions (effective dates) for projects registered under an approved GHG program and for GHG credits seeking to convert into VCUs (see Errata & Clarifications, VCS Standard, v4.0 (PDF)).


Update Overview (Release Date: 9 March 2020)

– Revised the effective dates for projects registered with an approved GHG program, with project activities there were eligible under VCS Version 3, but are now excluded from the scope of the VCS Program (see Appendix 2 Document History).


VCS Version 4 (Release Date: 19 September 2019)

VCS Version 4 incorporates several changes to existing VCS Program rules and requirements. The VCS Version 4 Rules Map (XLS) outlines where specific requirements from the VCS Version 3 program documents can be found in the VCS Version 4 program documents, and whether substantive changes to existing requirements were made or new requirements added.

All VCS Version 4 documents are effective on the issue date, unless otherwise stated in the VCS Version 4 Summary of Effective Dates (PDF).


VCS Version 4 second consultation

– Consultation overview;
– Webinar recordings (session 1 & session 2); and
Summary of comments and Verra’s responses (PDF).


VCS Version 4 first consultation

Consultation overview