When we released Version 4 of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in September 2019, one of the biggest changes was a revision to the scope of activities that are supported under the VCS Program. We made this change because certain project types no longer need carbon finance as a source of critical, early-stage funding.

In an effort to further ensure that carbon finance targets those activities most in need of it and to guarantee consistent application of VCS Program rules and requirements to all projects, we are announcing an update to the VCS Standard, v4.0. This update pertains to projects registered under and credits issued by approved GHG programs from an activity type that is no longer eligible under VCS Version 4. 

This update restricts such projects from transitioning to the VCS Program, and credits issued under approved GHG programs from being converted into VCUs, going forward. Specifically:

    • Such projects shall only be eligible to complete a gap validation and/or transfer to the VCS Program where the project has applied for registration with the VCS Program on or before 9 March 2020, unless evidence of contracting for a gap validation prior to 9 March 2020 is provided.
    • GHG credits issued under an approved GHG program shall only be eligible to be converted into VCUs where a conversion request has been submitted on or before 9 March 2020, unless evidence of contracting for a CER conversion prior to 9 March 2020 is provided, in which case the conversion must take place on or before 9 April 2020.

This update is being made because the original grace period included with the release for VCS Version 4 for such project and GHG credit conversions was not consistent with the grace period set out for projects only using the VCS Program; this update corrects that inconsistency.

This change does not affect projects that are registered with an approved GHG program from an activity type which remains eligible under VCS Version 4. Such projects may continue to request registration with the VCS Program and request to convert approved GHG credits.

The details of the change can be found in the updated document history section of the VCS Standard, v4.0.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at secretariat@verra.org, if you have any questions or concerns.