Update: Verra is extending the public comment period for this consultation until January 8, 2024. Feedback may be submitted using the consultation feedback form (external).

Verra is launching a public consultation on the ABACUS label, a new market label that can be applied to Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) from projects validated and verified to Verra’s new afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation (ARR) methodology if these units meet a set of key quality requirements.

By clearly identifying units that meet the proposed requirements, the ABACUS label aims to unlock finance for high-quality and trusted carbon removals, scaling the growth of nature-based greenhouse gas removal projects and catalyzing the market for the high-integrity credits these projects issue. The ABACUS label will allow for the piloting and testing of new concepts, which enables Verra and the ABACUS Working Group to monitor the performance of these concepts and facilitate their further development and workability for future methodological innovations.

For projects to issue VCUs with the ABACUS label, they must meet critical requirements relating to the following aspects:

  • Additionality and baseline: Projects must use a dynamic performance benchmark that tracks carbon stock change in matched controls throughout the project’s lifetime.
  • Leakage: Projects must effectively eliminate leakage by maintaining or enhancing agricultural production in the project or surrounding landscape.
  • Greenhouse Gas Accounting: Project quantification must be based on directly measured in-situ data and transparently reported data and models.
  • Permanence: Projects must be explicitly designed to reduce reversal risk, annually monitored to increase transparency, and designed to maintain carbon stocks after a limited crediting period.

The ABACUS label also aims to advance several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Life on Land (SDG 15).

The label was proposed by the ABACUS Working Group.*

This public consultation follows a pre-consultation that Verra held last year to gather feedback before refining the proposed label’s key concepts. Verra now requests public comment on the full version of the proposed ABACUS label. Please read the ABACUS Label Consultation Document (PDF).

Responses to the questions below and any other feedback may be submitted using the consultation feedback form (external) by January 8, 2024. The ABACUS Working Group will review, respond to, and use these comments and other feedback to finalize the label requirements. If you have any questions about this consultation, please email programupdates@verra.org.

  • Bronson Griscom (Senior Director of Natural Climate Solutions, Conservation International)
  • Barbara Haya (Director, Carbon Trading Project, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Kyle Hemes (Research Scientist, Natural Climate Solutions and Carbon Dioxide Removal, Amazon Worldwide Sustainability)
  • Campbell Moore (Carbon Markets Lead, The Nature Conservancy)
  • Jamey Mulligan (Head of Carbon Neutralization, Amazon Worldwide Sustainability)
  • 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)
  • Carlos Silva (Forest Carbon Scientist, Pachama)

Participation in the working group does not reflect endorsement by members’ organizations.