Verra has published updates to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, including a new version (v4.7) of the VCS Standard. With these updates, the VCS Program expects to meet all conditions for a full approval under the first phase (2024–2026 compliance period) of the Carbon Offsetting Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Verra will submit information on these updates to ICAO in advance of the April 30, 2024, Material Changes form deadline set by ICAO for further assessment by the ICAO Technical Advisory Body.

The VCS Program updates also include several rule amendments to clarify how the VCS Program aligns with the Core Carbon Principles established by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM). The ICVCM is currently finalizing its assessment of the VCS Program with a result expected later this month or possibly in May.

The complete list of changes included in the VCS Program updates, including effective dates and grace periods, can be found in the April 2024 Overview of VCS Program Updates and Effective Dates (PDF). The updated documents are available in the Rules and Requirements section on the VCS Program Details page.

The main revisions include the following:

  • Updates to the VCS Standard, VCS Program Definitions, and the Verra Registry Terms of Use (ToU) to explicitly prohibit the double selling of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs)
  • Updates to the safeguards requirements in the VCS Standard to provide more clarity on how these requirements align with the ICVCM safeguards assessment criteria, including reporting requirements for social and environmental impact risk assessment, the release of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, the protection of staff and contracted workers employed by third parties, and the demonstration of no adverse impact on areas needed for habitat connectivity
  • Updates to prevent double issuance by clarifying the rules for registering projects in the VCS Program that are registered but inactive in other greenhouse gas programs
  • Updates to the VCS project templates to facilitate reporting on the updated requirements in the VCS Standard
  • Updates to the Verra Grievance Redress Policy to clarify the measures Verra takes to ensure the accessibility and impartiality of the procedure for handling complaints and appeals by stakeholders

Updated versions of the following documents that correspond to these changes will be published on the Verra website in the coming week:

  • Joint templates for projects using the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) Program and the VCS Program that will have the same effective date as the VCS project templates (see the April 2024 Overview of VCS Program Updates and Effective Dates document)
  • Article 6 Label Guidance document that will provide more clarity on CORSIA retirement reasons

Verra is also developing new guidance on labeling VCUs that are eligible for CORSIA’s first compliance phase. This guidance will provide procedural information on obtaining CORSIA labels and also lay out the VCS Program’s provisions that ensure there is no double claiming of the emission reductions and removals represented by VCUs used for CORSIA compliance or VCUs used to meet a host country’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement. This guidance will be published at a later stage, closer to the time of VCUs becoming eligible for the first CORSIA phase (2024–2026 compliance period).


Verra held a webinar on April 25, 2024, at 12:00 pm ET, to provide an overview of these updates to the VCS Program, including changes to the VCS Program documents and project templates.

For any questions related to these VCS Program updates, please contact