Today (3 February 2023), Verra initiated a review of the use of UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology AMS-III.AU.: Methane emission reduction by adjusted water management practice in rice cultivation (opens on external site) in the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program.

The review, which will take place under Section 5 of the VCS Methodology Development and Review Process (PDF), follows an initial assessment of concerns raised in relation to this methodology. The results of this review will be published as they become available.

Under this Section 5 review, Verra will assess, inter alia, the following concerns about this methodology:

  1. The categorization of certain projects as small-scale, enabling them to benefit from UNFCCC CDM rules, and therefore foregoing the use of common practice analysis as part of the additionality tool;
  2. Potentially not satisfying regulatory surplus requirements (i.e., whether they exceed what is required by government regulations); and
  3. Questions about the quality of project monitoring data.

As a precautionary measure, Verra is, with immediate effect:

Although the VCS Program enables projects to use a methodology under certain other greenhouse gas programs, including the UNFCCC CDM, all such use is subject to the rules of the VCS Program itself.

Per Section 5 of the VCS Methodology Development and Review Process (PDF), Verra reviews a methodology if a VVB, project proponent, another stakeholder, or Verra identifies an issue with a methodology, tool or module, such as:

  1. Material inconsistency with a new VCS Program rule or requirement (e.g., an inconsistency that may lead to a material difference in the quantification of GHG emission reductions or removals by projects applying the methodology);
  2. General scientific or technical developments in a specific sector; or
  3. Any other well-founded concerns about a methodology.