The world's leading voluntary GHG program

Governance & Development


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.


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.

VCS Version 4 incorporates several changes to existing VCS Program rules and requirements. The VCS Version 4 Rules Map 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.

Issues Currently Under Development

Verra is considering several 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. We are inviting feedback from stakeholders to obtain input on:

  • 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 are open for consultation from 23 August to 22 September 2021. Comments may be submitted to After the consultation, your input will be used to finalize and release the updates to the VCS Program documents, which we anticipate occurring in early Q4 2021.

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

Watch the Recording

Previous Version 4 Updates

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