In March of 2019, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published a set of emissions unit criteria by which emissions units would qualify for use in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). In March of 2020, the ICAO Council voted to accept Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) issued to certain project types under certain conditions for use in CORSIA. The purpose of this guidance is to clearly identify which VCUs are eligible for use in CORSIA and to highlight how such eligible VCUs will be identified on the Verra Registry.
Note that this document will be updated from time-to-time as ICAO makes further decisions in respect of CORSIA emissions unit eligibility.
VCU Eligibility Criteria
VCUs that meet each of the following conditions are eligible for use in CORSIA for the 2021-2023 pilot phase:
- Crediting period eligibility: VCUs issued to projects that started their first project crediting period on or after 1 January 2016, according to the project crediting period start date specified at the time of project registration.
- Vintage eligibility: VCUs from a vintage occurring between the first project crediting period start date and 31 December 2020.
- Project/program type eligibility: VCUs issued to the following project/program types:
- Any non-AFOLU project
- Standalone AFOLU projects applying one of the following methodologies:
- VM0012, Improved Forest Management in Temperate and Boreal Forests
- VM0022 Quantifying N2O Emissions Reductions in Agricultural Crops through Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate Reduction
- VM0026 Methodology for Sustainable Grassland Management (and VMD0040 Leakage from Displacement of Grazing Activities)
- VM0033 Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration
- VM0036 Methodology for Rewetting Drained Temperate Peatlands
- Sustainable development contributions reporting: VCUs issued to projects that have reported on their sustainable development contributions by virtue of:
- Applying the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards;
- Applying the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta); or
- Completing a Sustainable Development Contributions Report
CORSIA VCU Label
Where VCUs are demonstrated to have met each of the eligibility criteria set out above, a “CORSIA label” will be applied to such VCUs and displayed on the Verra Registry to indicate eligibility for use in CORSIA. Verra believes taking this labelling approach is more sensible than creating an entirely new unit type, since VCUs eligible for CORSIA may also be used for other purposes besides CORSIA.
The CORSIA label will appear in the Verra Registry, and will be searchable, in a similar fashion to other credit-level (as opposed to project-level) additional certifications, such as VCU labels for CCB Program certification. Verra is currently in the process of developing this CORSIA VCU label within the Verra Registry platform.
 Verra envisions that there will be a need to further designate CORSIA-eligible VCUs based on differing eligibility criteria across future compliance cycles. Accordingly the label may appear as “CORSIA1” (as in, CORSIA compliance cycle 1), “CORSIA2”, and so on.