As we start the second half of the year, there are a few pieces of news we wanted to share regarding the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards. In case you have not seen it, please take a look at the June VCS newsletter, which highlighted a few important CCB Standards milestones from earlier this year. A quick CCB Standards status update follows below. This email introduces some important updates to our rules, including new fees to support the level of service CCB Standards stakeholders have come to expect, and a requirement that all GHG credits using CCB Standards must be labeled. Finally, a call for suggestions: we are looking into ways to streamline the CCB Standards rules, and we want your input.
Demand for the CCB Standards is Strong
Use of the CCB Standards continues to increase. Currently, 96 projects are validated to the CCB Standards, with another 15 projects in the validation process. Of those currently validated, 29 projects have achieved verification. This is no surprise, given that in 2014 buyers paid on average USD 2.70/tonne more for Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) with the CCB label than for unlabeled VCUs (State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2015).
Updates to Fees and Rules
We are committed to sustaining the level of support and service for the CCB Standards that stakeholders expect. To maintain the operations of the CCB Standards, we have made some changes to the fee structure that will help bring the fees more in line with the true cost of services we provide, and enable streamlined issuance and labeling in respect of the VCS Program, which is the only GHG program that allows labeling of GHG credits. We are therefore implementing the changes described below.
On 1 January 2016, two new fees will come into effect: one at validation and one at each verification. These fees will help cover the costs of managing the validation and verification processes. When a project issues CCB-labeled VCUs, the verification fee will be credited toward labeling fees.
Successful verification under the CCB Standards and the VCS Program enables the addition of a CCB label to VCUs. However, not all VCUs for which there is a corresponding CCB Standards verification are properly labeled with the CCB Standards, and this has caused confusion in the market as to which VCUs are actually delivering the benefits associated with the CCB Standards. To ensure consistency in the market, as of 1 January 2016, the addition of the CCB label will be required for all eligible VCUs issued under the VCS Program.
There are two types of CCB labeling that will become mandatory.
- The CCB label will automatically be added to any VCU when the CCB verification for the monitoring period during which the emission reduction or removal is created precedes VCU issuance.
- Projects that issue VCUs before achieving verification to the CCB Standards for the same monitoring period will be required to retroactively label the issued VCUs. Because of the work involved in changing the VCS database (at the back end), a processing fee will be applied for each instance of retroactive labeling — in addition to the per unit label fee. Although the requirement that all VCUs be labeled will be effective 1 January 2016, project proponents wishing to retroactively label their VCUs before then will need to pay the processing fee.
Streamlining and Overcoming Barriers to CCB Verification
We have begun work on identifying potential opportunities for streamlining the CCB rules to help reduce cost, time, complexity and other potential obstacles in the CCB (and VCS, where they are conducted together) validation and verification process. We are at the initial stages of this work. Over the next few months we will be reaching out to project proponents, auditors and other users of the CCB Standards to help identify aspects of the CCB Standards program that can be improved.
We look forward to hearing your ideas for further improving the CCB Standards. If you already have suggestions, please email them to CCBStandards@v-c-s.org.