Verra Defers Updates to the VCS Program
From February to April 2022, Verra ran a public consultation on several VCS Program updates. Some of these updates were released today. Three additional updates are being deferred at this time as a result of feedback received during the public consultation:
- Verra expects to release updated versions of the AFOLU Non-permanence Risk Tool and the JNR Non-permanence Risk Tool in Q3 2022.
- Verra will continue refining and seeking additional input for
- tonne-year accounting, and
- the enrollment of subsequent project instances.
AFOLU Non-permanence Risk Tool and JNR Non-permanence Risk Tool
Verra expects to release updated versions of the AFOLU Non-permanence Risk Tool and JNR Non-permanence Risk Tool, together with digitalized versions of their calculation components, in Q3 2022. These tools are used for determining the number of credits that projects and programs must contribute to the AFOLU buffer pool, which is a reserve of non-tradable credits that functions as a shared insurance pool for all VCS AFOLU and JNR projects in case of reversals. The updated tools will account for predicted future impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on the emission reduction and removal outcomes of programs and projects. They also address Agricultural Land Management (ALM)-specific risks and mitigation options.
Verra will not move forward with incorporating tonne-year accounting into the VCS Program at this time. Verra reserves the right to revisit this decision in the future, after another consultation on this subject that considers feedback received during the most recent consultation (February – April 2022).
Subsequent enrollments of project instances
Landowners (e.g., farmers and family foresters) participating in grouped projects or non-grouped projects with multiple project activity instances want the flexibility to exit one project and enroll in another at a future date. In the absence of such flexibility, some are hesitant to enroll in a carbon project due to concerns that future eligibility to participate in another project being compromised.
In the immediate term, Verra will not allow landowners (e.g., farmers and family foresters) participating in grouped projects or non-grouped projects with multiple project activity instances to exit one project and enroll in another at a future date (subsequent project instance enrollments). Instead, Verra has begun drafting a plan to allow transfers; the new rules are tentatively scheduled to take effect in Q4 2024. Please see the announcement on subsequent project instance enrollments for additional information. Verra’s current proposal is to conservatively require all instances to be assessed to ensure no double counting of emission reductions or removals.