Verra has released the following updates to the VCS Program (click on each bullet to learn more):

  • Revised requirements and methods for estimating uncertainty

Verra has updated the requirements and methods for estimating uncertainty in the VCS Methodology Requirements, v4.2 Section 2.4 to ensure that uncertainty is estimated uniformly across projects. The revised VCS Methodology Requirements, v4.2 also include additional guidance and examples to clarify calculating uncertainty.

This update takes effect on 22 December 2022. Methodologies that receive a first validation/verification body assessment report during the six-month grace period between 22 June and 21 December may still use the previous requirements and methods for estimating uncertainty.

  • New requirements to mitigate non-permanence risk in grouped projects with multiple activity instances

The VCS Standard, v4.3 Section 3.2.15 clarifies the requirements for mitigating non-permanence risk when instances leave grouped projects and projects with multiple instances. The project can either:

  • Conservatively assume a loss of the previously verified emission reductions and removals; or
  • Continue to monitor the instance for the remainder of its 30-year longevity period, following the monitoring requirements of the applied VCS methodology.

This update is effective immediately.

  • Clarification of peer-reviewed literature requirements

Verra has updated the requirements for peer-reviewed literature in the VCS Methodology Requirements, v4.2 Section 2.5.2 to clarify what constitutes peer-reviewed literature and enhance assurances around the scientific integrity of default factors derived from such literature. Revised rules require that literature used to establish default emission factors is indexed in the Web of Science: Science Citation Index (SCI). Where the SCI does not include relevant literature, alternative sources of information (e.g., government databases, industry publications) may be used.This update takes effect on 22 December 2022. Methodologies that receive a first validation/verification body assessment report during the six-month grace period between 22 June and 21 December may still follow the existing requirements.

  • New rules for VCU labels

Based on guidance previously available on the Verra website the VCS Standard, v4.3 Section 3.2.15 formalizes rules for VCU labels designating that a particular VCU has met the requirements of another certification or is eligible or approved for use in a national, sectoral, or investor-specific market.This update is effective immediately.

The following documents are affected by the above updates (listed with the new version numbers); all documents can be found on the VCS Rules and Requirements page:

  • Program Guide, v4.2
  • VCS Standard, v4.3
  • Program Definitions, v4.2
  • Methodology Requirements, v4.2
  • Methodology Approval Process, v4.1
  • Registration and Issuance Process, v4.2

Some of the proposed program updates included in the public consultation that ran from February to April 2022 are being deferred.

Appreciation for Stakeholder Inputs

These VCS Program updates were released taking into account valuable stakeholder input received through many channels, including a public consultation from February through April 2022. During this consultation, Verra received feedback from nearly 30 respondents, including project proponents, professional developers, corporate buyers, environmental organizations, and the general public. A summary of comments from the consultation is available on the Verra website. Thank you to everybody who submitted feedback!

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