The world's leading voluntary GHG program

Governance & Development

Governance 

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program is managed by Verra with the support of the VCS Program Advisory Group. The Advisory Group is a multi-stakeholder body that helps ensure that the VCS Program serves its users in an effective and efficient manner, and drives practical and robust solutions to mitigating climate change.

Development

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.

Previous versions of the VCS Program can be found here.

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.

September 2022 Consultation
Updates to the VCS Methodology Appproval Process:

  • Addition of a methodology idea note to facilitate the submission of proposals for the development of new and revised methodologies, tools, or modules and determine the development pathway;
  • Establishment of a formal option for Verra to lead methodology development by hiring an expert consultant to manage the development of the methodology, tool, or module;
  • Introduction of a requirement for developers to collaborate on concept notes, methodologies, and methodology frameworks under certain circumstances;
  • Updates to the process and requirements for methodology revisions, including a more streamlined process for minor revisions;
  • Enhanced review process for approved VCS methodologies (e.g., conducting a regular review and potential update every five years);
  • Updates to the grace periods for methodology versions that are replaced, become inactive, or are excluded from the VCS Program;
  • General improvements to, and clarifications of, the methodology development and review process;
  • Modification of the use of external experts for certain assessment responsibilities; and
  • Elimination of the methodology compensation rebate mechanism due to evolving market conditions and available funding, and to avoid counterproductive incentives for developing new methodologies over updating approved methodologies.

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 or view the slides.

If you have any questions, please email us at programupdates@nullverra.org.

July 2022 Consultation

  • Introduction of requirements for geologic carbon storage (GCS) activities, including associated tools and requirements;
  • Updates to the requirements for avoiding double-counting of carbon credits in Scope 3 emissions inventories;
  • Addition of a discount factor for crediting in cases of upstream displacement; and
  • Clarification of the long-term average GHG benefit calculation for afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation projects as well as improved forest management projects.

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 or view the slides.

If you have any questions, please email us at programupdates@nullverra.org.


May 2022 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.

Previous Version 4 Updates

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