Board of Directors & Advisory Committees
Board of Directors
The VCS Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from a variety of sectors who bring their expertise and knowledge to the ongoing development of VCS. Working through a variety of sub-committees, VCS Board members oversee the finances of the organization, work closely with VCS staff to guide the direction of VCS, and are involved in specific strategic efforts.
John Drexhage, Chair
John is a senior fellow with the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Ecoresources, two Canadian based organizations that address issues related to sustainable development, climate change and energy. He is currently actively involved in the UN based post 2015 sustainable development negotiations. Prior to that John served as the climate change and energy management director with the International Council on Mining & Metals. He has also served as climate change and energy director for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Previously, John served as a senior negotiator with the Canadian government on international climate change negotiations and advised widely on regulatory systems ranging from domestic and international offset systems to carbon tax options. John brings to the board keen insight into the dynamics of international climate policy development and a dedication to linking environmental protection and economic development.
Marc Stuart, Vice Chair
Marc is founding managing director of Allotrope Partners and an original co-founder of EcoSecurities, one of the world’s largest developers of GHG reduction and removal projects. Marc brings to the board significant business development expertise and an in-depth technical understanding of the complexities of project development and the need for simplified and transparent procedures to enable large-scale investment.
Henry Derwent, Vice Chair
Henry is the former international climate change director for the United Kingdom. He has overseen UK delegations at international climate negotiations and G8 summits, and he has led the early development of UK carbon markets. He more recently served as president and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), one of the founding organizations of the VCS. Henry brings to the board valued insight into climate policies emerging worldwide.
Alejandra López Carbajal
Alejandra López Carbajal currently serves as the Team Leader for the Support Unit of AILAC, the Independent Association of Latin America and Caribbean Countries, established in December 2012 as a formal negotiating group under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Prior to joining AILAC, Alejandra worked for almost 10 years for the Mexican public sector, including at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Between 2004 and 2012, and again in 2014 and 2015, she was a negotiator on behalf of Mexico to the UNFCCC process and was part of the strategy team that led the Cancun Climate Change Conference in 2010. In this period, she negotiated several issues including in relation to sectoral approaches, carbon markets and mitigation, finance, adaptation and capacity building.
Dirk is president and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). He previously served as managing director of Natsource, as a senior official with the U.S. Department of Energy and as energy program manager at Environmental Defense Fund. He also served as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton Administration. Dirk, an early contributor to U.S. climate change policy, brings to the VCS Board considerable skills and experience in energy policy and carbon markets.
Nathaniel Keohane is a Vice President at Environmental Defense Fund, where he leads EDF’s International Climate program and helps to shape the organization’s advocacy for environmentally effective and economically sound climate policy. Nat’s areas of expertise include U.S. and international climate and energy policy, the economic impact of climate change, the benefits and costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the design and performance of cap-and-trade programs and other policy instruments. Previously, Nat served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council. Before joining the Administration, he directed economic policy and analysis at EDF, playing a lead role in the efforts to enact comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation in Congress. Prior to EDF, Nat was an Associate Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management.
Mark is CEO of The Climate Group, one of the VCS founding organizations. He brings to the board 15 years of experience on international climate policy, having served as a senior policy officer for WWF’s International Climate Change Programme, as planning director for Fundacion Natura in Ecuador and as an advisor to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Ecuadorian government. Mark currently sits on the Climate Change Advisory Council at Zurich Insurance and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change Steering Committee. He brings to the board wide-ranging expertise in environmental economics, emissions trading and global climate policy development.
Kenneth J. Markowitz
Kenneth, an attorney, is the President of Earthpace LLC and the senior clean energy and environmental consultant to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld. He advises leading public- and private-sector clients on a comprehensive range of energy policy, law and regulatory issues in relation to economic growth, energy security and environmental stewardship, both domestically and internationally. Areas of expertise include climate change, environmental markets, renewable fuels, energy efficiency, waste utilization, clean air, water and other environmental regulation. Mr. Markowitz serves as the Managing Director of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), a trans-governmental network, and as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at The American University.
Ken is CEO of C-Quest Capital and brings considerable carbon market expertise to the board. Ken led the World Bank’s work to establish the Prototype Carbon Fund, the first private-public fund to make significant investments in emission-reducing projects. He went on to manage the growth of eight carbon funds and to work for Climate Change Capital and Goldman Sachs. Ken brings to the board a breadth and depth of experience with all aspects of carbon market development, ranging from precise technical questions to broad conceptual issues.
Anne-Marie has over 25 years’ experience in sustainable and environmental matters. She brings to the board experience related to verification, accreditation and management of programmes that provide verification and accreditation. Anne-Marie also helped lead the development of the first edition of the VCS Standards. She has been involved in the climate arena since 2000, serving on the Board of IETA, as chair of ETG (UK) Ltd and as UK expert to ISO GHG developments and expert to the IMO Expert Group on Market Based Measures in 2010. She was invited to give the Royal Academy of Engineering lecture in 2010 on the topic ‘A low carbon world – is it realistic?’ Her current foci are on four interlinked issues; renewable energy developments in relation to marine wave energy; maritime developments in relation to MRV at IMO and EU level; chairing and guiding developments of environmental management standards at ISO level; ISO development in relation to MRV standards in the GHG and environmental arenas.
Tao is founder and CEO of ZBX Environmental Software Company, the leader in providing infrastructure for China’s carbon market. A renowned business leader within China, he was one of the youngest board members among all Chinese public companies and first elected global governor of Pacific Telecom Council from mainland China . Tao brings to the board his extensive experience in IT, telecoms, and investments in China and abroad.
VCS requirements are drafted in collaboration with global experts and subjected to peer review and public consultation before being approved for use by the VCS Board. This open approach ensures VCS requirements combine state-of-the-art knowledge with global good practice, and it prevents any one organization or scientific viewpoint from gaining undue influence. Experts from organizations around the world, including the CDM Meth Panel, the World Bank and leading non-profit and private sector organizations, join VCS expert committees.
Climate, Community & Biodiversity Steering Committee
The Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Steering Committee is responsible for the governance, strategic direction and ongoing development of the CCB Standards, ensuring that they stimulate and promote land management activities that credibly mitigate global climate change, improve the wellbeing and reduce the poverty of local communities, and conserve biodiversity. The CCB Steering Committee comprises representatives of each Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) member organization and is co-chaired by VCS and the CCBA Secretariat.
Read more about the CCB Standards.
AFOLU Steering Committee
The Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use sector (AFOLU) Steering Committee began work in 2007 to develop requirements for crediting land-based projects that curb emissions or sequester carbon. The committee’s work has made VCS a leader in crediting new project types and approaches in the AFOLU sector and a top global standard for crediting avoided deforestation projects. Today the committee is an integral part of VCS that continues to guide work in the AFOLU sector. Committee members are currently advising the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD initiative as well as rules to credit new AFOLU project types. AFOLU Steering Committee members.
Read more about current AFOLU initiatives
AFOLU Technical Working Groups
AFOLU Technical Working Groups are convened to refine or develop AFOLU requirements for the VCS Program. Technical Working Groups and members.
Read more about current AFOLU initiatives.
Advisory Committee on Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+
An Advisory Committee was convened in February 2011 to provide strategic input for development of the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) initiative. The initiative gathered input from advisory committee members and technical experts to create guidelines and criteria for the integrated, jurisdiction-wide accounting and crediting of REDD+ projects, policies and programs. Advisory Committee members.
Read more about the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD initiative
Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ Leakage and Non-Permanence Working Groups
Working groups were convened in January 2013 to focus on the development of tools for JNR programs to manage leakage and assess non-permanence risk of carbon stocks. Working Group members.
Read more about the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD initiative.
Steering Committee on Standardized Methods for Baselines and Additionality
An expert steering committee was convened in October 2010 to create guidelines for developing standardized methods for determining baselines and additionality, notably performance methods (or benchmarks) and activity methods (or positive lists). Steering Committee members.
Read more about Standardized Methods
AFOLU Expert Assessment Panel
An AFOLU Expert Assessment Panel was established in 2009 to review the qualifications of potential AFOLU experts. AFOLU assessment panel members review the qualifications of AFOLU experts and recommend candidates to VCS.
VVB Working Group
A working group comprised of representatives from validation/verification bodies (VVBs) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was convened in 2011 to provide input on development of the Validation and Verification Manual. The manual is intended to support VVBs and help enhance the quality and transparency of VCS projects.
VCS Steering Committee
The original VCS Steering Committee of 19 global carbon market experts was established in 2006 and worked for more than a year to develop the first VCS Standard. The Steering Committee convened seven technical working groups to address specific topics, including governance, additionality, validation and verification, registry systems, forestry and land use, performance standards and general policy issues. VCS Steering Committee members
Compensation Mechanism Steering Committee
A Compensation Mechanism Steering Committee was established in 2009 to explore ways to incentivize the development of new, streamlined and broadly applicable methodologies. The steering committee developed a unique mechanism to reward VCS methodology developers when others use their work. Today VCS rebates 20 percent of the levy on every VCU issued to methodology developers when a project uses the methodology they developed. This establishes a real incentive for methodology developers to create new, broadly applicable approaches to curbing GHG emissions.