Verra is opening a second public consultation on the design of the Projected Carbon Unit (PCU), formerly called the Early Finance Carbon Unit (EFCU), to support the development of VCS projects prior to the issuance of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs).

The PCU fits within Verra’s broader strategy of creating innovative and robust tools and approaches for scaling up climate impact, in particular related to emission removal activities, including through the development of new methodologies such as biochar and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) and the labeling of removal-based VCUs.

One PCU will represent one tonne of carbon reductions or removals that a registered project is expected to achieve according to its validated projections. On the Verra Registry, PCUs will be assigned on request to project proponents after project registration and will be converted automatically into VCUs following Verra’s approval of the verification of a project’s emission reductions and removals.

The assignment of PCUs will support projects in providing transactable instruments to help get their carbon projects off the ground.

  • For proponents of afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation (ARR) projects, PCUs could be especially useful because these projects require significant upfront investment and decades of implementation to generate verified emission removals at scale. PCUs could also be useful for technology-based removal projects, which face very high upfront costs.
  • For credit buyers and investors, PCUs are Verra-backed instruments that may help to reduce contracting and delivery risks. PCUs could also increase transparency and buyer confidence, encouraging further investment in climate action. It is also possible that PCUs could support buyers in communicating credible progress toward achieving net-zero targets or other climate commitments.

Verra sought input on the value proposition, technical design, and potential implementation of the PCU through an initial public consultation in late 2020. Since then, Verra has continued engaging with advisory groups and other key stakeholders on the design of the PCU. Verra has also retained specialist legal counsel to assess and consider relevant regulatory implications of PCUs.

The public consultation was open from 3 May 2022 to 1 June 2022. Input from this second consultation will inform the final design and implementation of the PCU, which Verra anticipates launching in the fall of 2022, as part of a VCS Program Update.