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 that meet a set of eligibility criteria. The purpose of the guidance posted here 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 page 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 within the time period of 1 January 2016 through 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, and Biodiversity (CCB) Program;
- Applying the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta); or
- Completing a VCS Sustainable Development Contributions Report (forthcoming)
CORSIA VCU Label
Where VCUs are demonstrated to have met each of the eligibility criteria set out in VCU Eligibility Criteria section (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 additional certifications, such as VCU labels for CCB Program certification (i.e., the label will appear on the VCUs as opposed to at the project-level). Verra is currently in the process of developing this CORSIA VCU label within the Verra Registry platform.
 Note that CORSIA requires projects to take appropriate steps to ensure that post-2020 emission reductions are not double counted in the context of reporting under the Paris Agreement. However, this criterion is not currently relevant due to this vintage eligibility restriction (i.e., for the time being, no post-2020 emission reductions will be used during the pilot phase). Verra is in the process of developing requirements that would instruct projects on the steps necessary to comply with this criterion for post-2020 emission reductions in anticipation of post-2020 emission reductions becoming eligible for future compliance cycles. This page will be updated in due course to reflect those requirements, when relevant.
 Verra anticipates re-submitting additional AFOLU activities and introducing new rules and procedures that could expand the scope of project activities recognized under CORSIA, particularly for standalone AFOLU projects. Verra intends to work closely with ICAO to determine optimal pathways for securing approval for such activities.
 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 “CORSIA-1” (as in, CORSIA compliance cycle 1), “CORSIA-2”, and so on.
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