Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) joins CPLC

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) joins CPLC


At the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), we’ve been watching the advances of the CPLC with interest and are thrilled to join the community of climate leaders that this unique initiative brings together. We believe that now, more than ever, is a pivotal time to put a price on carbon and transform the global economy from one of unsustainable business as usual to one that is sustainable for people and the planet. As an organization, we develop and manage a number of certification frameworks to promote sustainability, including the VCS Program, the leading GHG crediting program in the voluntary carbon market. Active since 2007, the VCS Program has certified more than 1,400 projects that have collectively reduced or removed more than 230 million tonnes of GHG emissions from the atmosphere. We have also pioneered tools and approaches that have brought land-based activities, including REDD+, into the carbon markets.

VCS is excited to bring our long-standing expertise in running a greenhouse gas (GHG) crediting program and all that that entails (i.e., developing accounting methodologies, ensuring independent auditing, setting up transparent registries) to help shape the carbon pricing mechanisms of the future. Our work with governments and recent developments around carbon pricing suggest that carbon pricing mechanisms are starting to embrace an “open architecture” approach where various GHG crediting programs could help to provide the infrastructure needed to deliver emission reductions at scale. In California, we are one of three GHG crediting programs that help the state in the implementation of their landmark cap-and-trade program. In Colombia, VCS projects and the units they issue (Verified Carbon Units, or VCUs) have been recognized for use against the country’s recently implemented carbon tax. South Africa is considering a similar system, and  the Carbon Offsetting Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is considering recognizing GHG crediting programs that meet pre-determined criteria.

An open architecture approach to carbon pricing builds on the expertise and experience of current market players, rather than reinventing the wheel. We’ve already learned through trial and error that no one program or scheme can deliver the emission reductions we need to keep us at, let alone below, 2°C. The existing carbon market provides a great example of the benefit of diverse solutions, with each certification provider offering expertise that allows more types of projects to benefit from carbon pricing, be they forest conservation, windmills or cookstoves. In short, an open architecture approach taps into what is already working, and it means governments can get started with carbon pricing relatively quickly because the infrastructure and expertise already exists.

We are proud to join the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and to apply our experience and expertise in voluntary and compliance carbon markets and jurisdictional-level carbon accounting to promoting a price on carbon.  We look forward to working with all of the members to secure strong carbon pricing around the world.