January 2018 Newsletter
Just one month in and our 2018 is in full swing. This is already shaping up to be an eventful year for international action on climate change and sustainable development, particularly in respect of international carbon markets and implementing the Paris Agreement. Here is what we’re keeping an eye on in 2018:
- More countries with national compliance markets;
- More clarity from ICAO on what GHG crediting programs will be recognized by the CORSIA;
- Increasing momentum for including SDGs in corporate sustainability plans, country commitments and carbon projects;
- Decisions by the UNFCCC on how to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, particularly with regards to emissions trading; and
- Increasing commitment from corporates worldwide to sustainable practices.
2018 also looks to be a banner year for us here at VCS. We’re actively working on strengthening and expanding our standards offerings so that our partners and stakeholders can continue to drive capital towards their ambitious work advancing climate and sustainable development goals. Here is just some of what we have planned for 2018:
- Building out a first draft of our new Landscape Standard;
- Launching our new Sustainable Development Impact Standard (SD VISta);
- Making important updates to the VCS Program requirements to support projects and governments looking to the future of carbon crediting and trading; and
- Pilot testing guidance from the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency.
Our work has expanded substantially in the past few years and, as shared above, we will spend a lot of 2018 building out two new standards programs. Noting also that we recently commemorated our ten-year anniversary, we realized it was time to revisit our brand and identity as an organization. We therefore spent much of 2017 reflecting on who we are and where we’re headed. We’ll make the culmination of that work public in mid-February, so keep an eye out for an announcement that we are all truly excited to share!
SD VISta Public Consultation
Thanks to those of you who have participated thus far in the consultation on the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) Project Requirements. The consultation ends on 4 March, so we’re almost halfway through and there’s still time to submit feedback. Your input will help ensure that the requirements are clear and meet the needs of projects and their investors and supporters. Please follow this link to provide your comments: SD VISta Project Requirements Consultation. Visit our website or watch our recent webinar on the consultation to learn more about SD VISta.
VCS Program Continues to Lead Forest Carbon Market
ICYMI, Ecosystem Marketplace released their year-end report, Fertile Ground: State of Forest Carbon Finance 2017, which provides a thorough analysis of global forest carbon markets. As in previous years, the VCS Program certified the lion’s share of Agriculture, Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU) projects, at 82%. Notably, this year’s report included an overview of global policy programs that include forestry/land-use offsets and a section specifically on nested REDD+.
Revised Methodology Uses Activity (Standardized) Method
Tradewater, LLC has revised VCS Program methodologyVM0016 Recovery and Destruction of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) to add the collection and destruction of unused and stockpiled ODS as an eligible project activity. The revision also includes a new activity method module that identifies a positive list of activities which are deemed automatically additional. These revisions help expand the applicability of the methodology and streamline the demonstration of additionality for projects eligible to apply the activity method.
VCS is Hiring for ICAT Initative
We are actively hiring for a new senior-level position. VCS is one of the key implementing partners for the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), which helps countries assess the impacts of their climate actions. The director will lead the initiative’s guidance development team to close out this three-year grant as well as lead on new opportunities for ICAT. See the job announcement for more details and to apply.
VCS Program Projects Open for Public Comment
Five VCS Program projects are currently open for public comment. We invite stakeholders to provide comments at the links provided below:
- The first is a project in Colombia designed to protect forest and high Andean wetlands entitled Scheme of Compensation for Ecosystem Services for Forest Management and Conservation of Water Sources in the Jurisdiction of CORPOCHIVOR.
- Two more projects are in Mauritania in Northwestern Africa, a country in which only about 40% of people are connected to the grid. One, the Nouakchott 30 MW wind power plant, will establish a greenfield wind power plant and the other, the Large scale grid connected solar PV Project in Toujounine, will set up greenfield solar power plant.
- Rounding out the list are another solar project, theNegros Island Solar Power Inc. Project in the Philippines, and the Grid connected electricity generation plant using natural gas at Jurong Island in Singapore.
Initiative for Climate Action Transparency
Supporting countries around the world in the evaluation of the climate, sustainable development and transformational impacts of their policies and actions