The VCS Program is among the most widely used quality assurance system for accounting for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in the voluntary carbon market. Used by more than 600 project worldwide, the VCS Program is recognized and trusted to ensure GHG emission reductions and removals are real, measurable, additional, permanent, independently verified, conservatively estimated, uniquely numbered and transparently listed in a central database.
The VCS Program has four pillars:
The VCS Standard lays out the fundamental principles and requirements for quantifying and generating GHG emission reductions and credits that are real, measurable, additional, permanent, conservatively estimated, independently verified, uniquely numbered and transparently listed in a central database.
The VCS Program allows projects to choose from a range of established methodologies for quantifying the GHG benefits they generate. Projects may also propose and develop new methodologies under VCS when no existing approach meets their needs.
Validation & Verification
Under VCS quality assurance, all project plans must be validated and all GHG emission reductions and removals must be verified by a qualified, VCS-approved, independent validation/verification body, or VVB. VCS provides multiple pathways for VVBs to become VCS-approved.
When GHG emission reductions have been verified, project proponents may request the issuance of VCUs. To ensure every VCU is unique and can be tracked from issuance to retirement, project proponents must open an account with a registry operator that is linked to the VCS project database via the VCS Registry system.
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