The ABACUS label is intended to catalyze the growth of nature-based GHG removal credits.

Today, Verra launched a pre-consultation for a new carbon credit market label, ABACUS, that has the potential to unlock finance for high-quality and trusted carbon removal at a crucial moment in the race to net zero.

The label can be applied to Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) from projects validated and verified to Verra’s forthcoming afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation (ARR) methodology that meet a set of key requirements pertaining to the following aspects:

  • Additionality & Baseline: Projects must employ a dynamic performance benchmark baseline that remotely tracks changes in carbon stocks in matched control plots over the course of the project’s lifetime. This approach is complemented by traditional measures to confirm additionality.
  • Leakage: Projects must eliminate leakage by maintaining or enhancing agricultural production within a defined accounting area in the surrounding landscape.
  • Measurement: Credits will be issued on an inventory of data from plots in which carbon stock change or net fluxes are measured through time in situ.
  • Permanence: Projects must regularly monitor the entire extent of the project area for loss events and compensate for losses upon detection; we will explore the potential for compensating reversals in ABACUS projects first by canceling credits from other ABACUS credits in the VCS AFOLU buffer pool.

The ABACUS label aims to catalyze the growth of a market for nature-based greenhouse gas emission removal credits while advancing Sustainable Development Goals including ‘zero hunger,’ ‘climate action,’ and ‘life on land.’

The label was proposed by the ABACUS Working Group,* members of which are:

  • Bronson Griscom (Senior Director of Natural Climate Solutions, Conservation International),
  • Barbara Haya (Director, Carbon Trading Project, University of California, Berkeley),
  • Kyle Hemes (Research Scientist, Amazon Sustainability Science & Innovation),
  • Ruben Lubowski (Associate VP Climate & Forests, Environmental Defense Fund),
  • Campbell Moore (Carbon Markets Lead, The Nature Conservancy),
  • Jamey Mulligan (Senior Scientist, Amazon Sustainability Science & Innovation),
  • Connor Nolan (Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment),
  • Christie Pollet-Young (Managing Director, SCS Global Services),
  • Matthew Potts (Chief Science Officer, Carbon Direct; Professor, University of California, Berkeley),
  • David Shoch (Director of Forestry, TerraCarbon), and
  • Carlos Silva (Forest Carbon Scientist, Pachama).

*(Note: Participation in the working group does not reflect endorsement by members’ organizations.)

Verra hosted this pre-consultation as part of our process to vet market label proposals. The ABACUS Working Group seeks feedback to refine the proposed label’s key concepts before consultation on the full label requirements.

Comments could be submitted through 7 August 2022, after which date, the ABACUS Working Group will use the feedback to finalize the label requirements. The full consultation on the ABACUS label is expected to be launched later this year.

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email