VCS Enables Carbon Finance to Restore Wetlands; Protect Communities
(Washington, D.C.) – With the U.S Gulf Coast continuing its long recovery from Hurricane Katrina, today the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the world’s largest voluntary greenhouse gas reduction program, announced the approval of a new methodology that will unlock the power of carbon finance to help restore coastal wetlands. This methodology will allow project developers to both sequester carbon and expand natural flood protection for millions of gulf coast residents. This first-of-its-kind methodology is available for immediate use.
“Nine years ago, we saw in horrifying detail what a changing climate and destroyed wetlands mean for millions of people living in areas exposed to flooding,” said VCS Chief Executive Officer David Antonioli. “By opening the doors to carbon finance, this new methodology will facilitate the restoration of wetlands to protect the coastline and ultimately people’s homes.”
“Louisiana is home to more than 40% of the nation’s wetlands but is experiencing 80% of its loss, so it is critical that we pursue every opportunity to reverse the degradation of our coast,” said Jerome Zeringue, Chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). “This methodology will provide another tool to develop and enhance restoration measures to reverse that trend.”
The VCS Methodology for Wetland Creation is the first approved through the organization’s Wetlands Restoration and Conservation requirements. The methodology also constitutes the first to utilize an activity method to demonstrate what is known as “additionality” – a hurdle all carbon projects must clear to show that they go beyond what would otherwise be considered “business as usual”. By standardizing this process projects will face dramatically lower costs and a streamlined approval process.
“The effects of a changing climate remain all too clear to millions of people living on the Gulf Coast,” said Mr. Antonioli. “By providing the tools that communities need to restore their wetlands, we’re enabling the creation of natural barriers from future storms, and helping to lower the world’s carbon footprint, hopefully making future storms less acute.”
Founded in 2005 by the Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association, the World Economic Forum, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the VCS has become one of the world’s most widely used carbon accounting standards. VCS has revolutionized the voluntary carbon market by developing trusted tools, such as standardized methods that streamline the project approval process, reduce transaction costs and enhance transparency. As the international market continues to evolve, VCS has also brought new programmatic innovations that allow for emission reductions achieved by government programs addressing deforestation to be accounted for on a larger scale. Across the world, projects and programs using the VCS Standard have issued more than 143 million Verified Carbon Units (VCUs).