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August/September 2016 Newsletter

Link to full newsletter: August/September Newsletter online

Dear Colleague,

We’ve had an eventful late summer and early fall here at VCS. We have been joined by our newest team member, giving VCS an on-the-ground presence in Peru. We had the opportunity to participate in the launch of Colombia’s Voluntary Carbon Market. And VCS offsets were used in August’s Rio Olympics, marking the third time VCS projects have been a part of offsetting a major international sporting event. Now, we are preparing for ICAO’s upcoming vote on the proposed Market-based Mechanism (MBM) and for COP 22 in Morocco. Please read on for further details on the latest updates from across our programs and initiatives and stay tuned for our updates on those big events in our next installment.

Sincerely,

David Antonioli
CEO

Spotlight Story

The VCS-verified Le Ferme-Bambous Solar Plant is a 15.2 megawatt photovoltaic power plant in Eau Bonne, Bambous, Mauritius. It is the country’s first utility-scale solar farm, feeding energy into the national grid. Historically, Mauritius has been dependent on imported petroleum and coal, with over 80% of electricity being produced from these fossil fuels. Now, with the Bambous plant, the country is taking a first step towards sustainable power and energy independence. In addition to being a boon for Mauritius’ energy sector, revenues from the project have been committed by the project proponents to upgrade the main village avenue in Bambous and install roadside drains. Explore the La Ferme-Bambous project.

Updates

Colombia’s Voluntary Carbon Market

This August, VCS had the opportunity to participate in the launch event for Colombia’s new Voluntary Carbon Market. Overseen by Fundación Natura and the Colombian Mercantile Exchange, the market focuses primarily on forest projects, with room for expansion. The Colombian Voluntary Carbon Market represents an excellent first step towards a country-wide approach to emissions trading and has great potential to serve as “early action” in a future emissions trading scheme. Read more of our reflections on the launch.

Third Pilot Auction Facility Auction

Projects following certain VCS methodologies are once again eligible to participate it the Pilot Auction Facility. This third auction will sell a price guarantee for nitrous oxide (N2O) emission reductions from industrial nitric acid plants. VCS projects using CDM methodologies in the N2O sector are eligible to apply. Eligible and interested VCS projects should take note and register when dates are announced.

Offsetting the Olympics

As the biggest sporting event in the world, the Olympics also have a large carbon footprint. For the last two Summer Olympics, efforts to offset their impact have included VCS projects. In this summer’s Olympics in Rio, Dow Chemical committed to issuing and retiring carbon credits from the Santa Vitória Cogeneration Project, making the VCS Program the only carbon standard used in offsetting the Rio Olympics. The 2012 London Olympics were offset with credits from a suite of global projects, of which half were certified by VCS.

The offsetting done at the Olympics and other large-scale sporting events provides a test case for how more local recurring sporting events can be offset. Read the full article for more on VCS’s role in offsetting emissions from global sporting events.

Webinar Recap: Options for Nesting REDD+ Projects

If you missed our August webinars on our Options for Nesting REDD+ Projects guidance, recordings of both theSpanish and English webinars are now available. The webinars provided background and an overview for the guidance, developed by Winrock International and Fundacion Natura Colombia, which presents a suite of options for projects and governments to integrate and harmonize projects into jurisdictional REDD+ programs.

Watch the English webinar, watch the Spanish Webinar, or read the full guidance, also in Español, Français, and Português.

Open for Public Comment: CCB Program Forest and Grasslands Projects

The Manoa REDD+ Project in Rondônia, Brazil aims to avoid over 4.5 million tonnes of CO2e over a 30-year lifetime through responsible forest management. The project is part of an ecological corridor connecting several protected areas which include habitat for the endangered black-faced spider monkey. The project design documentation is available for comment.

The North Kenya Grassland Carbon Project implements rotational livestock grazing to promote grass banks, lower the risk of catastrophic livestock loss during drought, and improve soil carbon stock. Project design documentation and the project implementation report are available for comment.

CCB Celebrates Over 100 Projects Validated

For our CCB projects, validation represents countless hours of careful design, documentation, and review, not to mention the time on the ground. That’s why we’re delighted to take the time to celebrate our 100th validated CCB project. CCB projects are especially worth celebrating because each goes beyond reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions to provide other social and environmental benefits, like creating a biodiversity corridor or improving livelihoods for women.

Read the full story on our site to learn more about the 100thproject validated, the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project.

Methodological Framework now on ICAT Website

New pages have been added to the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency website to share the Initiative activities now underway. Visitors to the site can now see more detail on the components of the Methodological Framework, including members of our technical working groups, as well as the list of countries that have officially joined the Initiative. We will continue to update the site as our work progresses, including drafts of the methodological framework and more information on our work with countries. Explore the website.

Welcoming a New Addition to our Team

This September, our Sustainable Landscapes team got a new Landscapes Manager, Sarah Lupberger. Sarah will support the development and implementation of the Landscape Standard, as well as VCS’ ongoing work on Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+, particularly in South America. Sarah joins us from Ministry of Environment in Peru, where she worked within the National Forest Conservation Program. She will remain based in Peru.