Verra has permanently inactivated the use of UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology AMS-III.AU.: Methane emission reduction by adjusted water management practice in rice cultivation in the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program. This decision follows Verra’s thorough review of the methodology per Section 5 of the VCS Methodology Development and Review Process (PDF).

The permanent inactivation of this methodology is based on identified concerns including the following:

  1. Insufficient guidance for field stratification;
  2. Lack of consideration, accounting, or monitoring for changes in nitrous oxide emissions and soil organic carbon stocks; and
  3. Absence of standardized guidance for conducting methane measurements.

Verra has begun scoping a new rice-specific methodology or module under VM0042 Methodology for Improved Land Management that may replace the CDM methodology AMS-III.AU in the VCS Program.

When Verra initiated a review of the use of the CDM methodology AMS-III.AU in the VCS Program, all registered and listed VCS projects applying the methodology were placed on hold while Verra was reviewing the methodology.

Following an initial review of registered projects undertaken alongside the methodology review, Verra has identified quality issues with the validations and/or verifications conducted by the following validation/verification bodies (VVBs):

  • China Classification Society Certification Company
  • China Quality Certification Center
  • Shenzhen CTI International Certification Co., Ltd
  • Tuev Nord Cert GmbH

As a result, Verra is now conducting a quality control review of all registered projects using CDM methodology AMS-III.AU in accordance with Section 6 of the VCS Registration and Issuance Process, v4.3 (PDF).

Projects on the Verra Registry that use the CDM methodology AMS-III.AU and have listed one of the above VVBs as the “VCS Project Validator” will remain on hold while the quality review process of registered projects is ongoing. Verra will also pause any other Verra standards program review requests associated with projects on hold until the quality control reviews are complete.

All other projects applying the CDM methodology AMS-III.AU that requested listing prior to 3 February 2023 may proceed with registration and must do the following:

  • Complete validation no later than 20 September 2023; and
  • Address any findings issued during Verra’s full review of the registration request.

Verra will not approve any new VCS project listing requests using the CDM methodology AMS-III.AU.