Today, Verra is formally 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 VCS Program is the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas (GHG) crediting program. It drives finance toward activities that reduce and remove emissions, improve livelihoods, and protect nature. The VCS Program combines scientific rigor, transparency, and innovative thinking to enable ambitious climate action; it is a critical and evolving component in the urgent ongoing effort to stabilize the global climate and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Since Version 4 of the VCS Program was released in 2019, there have been significant changes to the context in which the VCS operates, such as the increase in ambition of both state and non-state actors, with a focus on halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero global emissions by mid-century. Meeting this ambition will require a significant increase in the scale, pace, and integrity of emissions reductions. Verra is renewing the VCS Program to meet this challenge, and stakeholder input is a critical next step.
About the Consultation
This open consultation invites stakeholders to identify big-picture priorities and ideas to enable the VCS Program to deliver climate action at the scale, pace, and integrity needed to support global climate ambitions.
Where the consultation identifies ideas or issues that require more thinking or evaluation, we will consult further with stakeholders on specific proposals, similar to the consultations conducted in advance of previous program updates. This open consultation is only the first stage of the process to align the VCS Program with the integrity, scale, and pace of action needed to achieve global climate ambitions.
In addition, we welcome input on near-term updates that could improve the usability of the VCS Program, such as clarifications of rules that cause differences in interpretation between project proponents and validation/verification bodies. These ideas will help inform the next update to the VCS Program, planned for mid-2023.
The planned timeline for the consultation is as follows:
|6 February – 7 April 2023||Consultation open|
|22 February 2023||Consultation webinar|
|April – May 2023||Review comments and prepare responses|
|June 2023||Publish comments and responses|