In the last newsletter I mentioned that we are undertaking public consultations on two of our standards. The purpose of the consultation on the VCS Program is to ensure that the next version of it (version 4) continues to play a key role in addressing climate change, particularly in the context of impending decisions on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, the eligibility of units for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), continued integration of REDD+ projects and jurisdictional programs, and sustained growth in the voluntary carbon market. In addition, the consultation on the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) aims to ensure that we provide our stakeholders with a robust set of requirements for demonstrating the positive impacts of their projects and linking these directly to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We have already received some great comments and invite all of you who currently or in the future may use these standards to submit comments. Public consultation and participation in the development of standards is a critical part of the process and we invite you to share your insights. The sections below have links to the relevant sections of both standards.
This newsletter also contains some exciting news from our California Offset Project Registry (OPR) and ICAT, which recently released guidance to help countries assess the GHG, sustainable development and transformational change impacts of their climate policies.
Please read on, do share your thoughts on the two public consultations before they close next week, and be sure to vote in the Environmental Finance annual poll on the voluntary carbon market which is now underway.
As a final note, and in case you missed our previous notification about compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), please go to the bottom of this newsletter and update your preferences if you want to continue to receive notices from Verra.
VCS Public Consultation Ending Soon!
In May we launched a 60-day public consultation on the next version of the VCS Program aimed at receiving your feedback on some significant proposed updates to the VCS Program, which will form the basis for VCS Version 4. The consultation is guided by a VCS Version 4 Consultation Roadmap which sets out a catalog of proposals, each with an individual consultation document with background and details of each proposal, as well as some key questions to consider. We encourage you to review and respond to as many proposals as you’re able, though we’ve designed the consultation to help facilitate your review of those proposals most relevant to your work.
This consultation will close on 16 July. Please be sure to submit your comments and feedback before the deadline. Because we are consulting on broad concepts and not on specific changes to the requirements, there are no templates or forms that need to be completed. Instead, please submit your comments directly via email through a Word or PDF document, or directly in the text of an email.
After the consultation, we’ll use your input to finalize the content of VCS Version 4, or potentially run a second consultation. As always, please let us know if you have any questions as you engage in this consultation. We look forward to your feedback.
SD VISta Public Consultation Ending Soon!
In June we launched a 30-day consultation on the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) to gather comments to ensure that the program requirements are clear and meet the needs of projects and their investors and supporters. In this second consultation, we would particularly appreciate your input regarding the level of review required for SD VISta projects.
This consultation will close on 18 July. Please provide your comments and feedback before the deadline. Because we are consulting on specific requirements of SD VISta, we are conducting this consultation through Collaborase, an on-line platform for sharing feedback. However, you can also submit comments via email, ideally using the template available on the SD VISta website. A recording of the webinar held in June to introduce the Standard and Program Guide is available at the same site.
After the consultation, we’ll use your input to revise the SD VISta Program, which we hope to launch by the beginning of 2019. Once it is launched, we hope that you will use SD VISta to demonstrate the sustainable development benefits of your project (whether it uses another Verra standard or not) or check out SD VISta projects to find out how projects around the world contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals!
Verra’s California Offset Project Registry Issues First U.S. Forestry Registry Offset Credits
Verra has issued 99,139 Registry Offset Credits (ROCs) for the emission reductions achieved by the Blue Source-Alford Improved Forest Management Project, marking Verra’s first issuance of U.S. Forestry ROCs for the California cap-and-trade program. Having participated in the project’s on-site audit, Verra staff can attest to its unique natural features and wildlife-supporting habitat. Located in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri, the project consists of 3,200 acres of mixed tree species including black oak, white oak and shortleaf pine. The Ozark Regional Land Trust manages the project’s carbon stocks in collaboration with Blue Source, already achieving emission reductions and removals equivalent to taking more than 20 thousand passenger vehicles* off the road for one year since its commencement. Read more about our work as a California Offset Project Registry.
*based on a calculation from the EPA’s GHG Equivalencies Calculator
ICAT Guidance Release
The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency recently released the May 2018 version of ICAT guidance. The ICAT guidance helps users assess the GHG, sustainable development and transformational impacts of policies and actions. Complementary guidance is provided on engaging stakeholders, undertaking technical review of an impact assessment, and integrating the impacts of non-state actors into an assessment. As part of ICAT’s guidance development and capacity building efforts, we are working with country partners and will also engage non-state actors to apply the guidance to specific policies and actions. ICAT’s objectives are to improve the guidance based on practical experience and to develop case studies to include in the final publications. Applying the ICAT guidance can deliver multiple benefits including a better understanding of a policy’s impacts to inform decision making and support reporting, and increased capacity for impact assessment leading to enhanced ambition and impacts.
ICAT can provide technical support to help facilitate the application of guidance through regular calls and templates for feedback, reporting and review. Please contact Sinclair Vincent at email@example.com if you are interested in applying the ICAT guidance. For more information on the ICAT guidance visit the ICAT website.
Vote for the VCS Program as the best voluntary carbon standard
The annual poll conducted by Environmental Finance on the voluntary carbon market is now underway, and we encourage you to vote for the VCS Program as the best voluntary carbon standard. We continue to work hard to address our stakeholders’ needs in an effective and efficient way, and as the VCS Version 4 consultation shows, we are making sure the program evolves to meet the future demands of the voluntary market, including how it can play a role in compliance efforts worldwide.
Verra Welcomes Iman Stenson
Iman manages stakeholder interactions as the Junior Program Officer on Verra’s Program Team. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from University of California Berkeley. She previously worked at Brookings Institution and for her university in both event coordination and administrative support. She is an avid baker who enjoys visiting museums and vintage clothes shopping in her free time.
Verra event participation
Verra is planning to participate in and sponsor a number of industry conferences and events. We would love to connect if you’re planning on attending any of them.
Come meet Julie Baroody at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. She will be presenting in the “Supporting an integrated implementation of the SDGs” session 11 July from 3-6 pm.
- Global Sustainable Aviation Summit, October 2-3 in Geneva, Switzerland
- Sustainable Brands New Metrics, October 29-31 in Philadelphia, PA
- BSR Conference 2018, November 6-8 in New York, NY
- COP 24, 3-14 December in Katowice, Poland
Verra seeks an Intern to support research and administration for the Landscape Standard. The ideal candidate will have strong written and verbal communication skills, qualitative research experience and interest in sustainability. For further detail please see the full job announcement.
VCS & CCB Projects Open for Public Comment
Five projects are currently open for public comment by email at the links provided below.