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November Newsletter: Standardized Methods coming, VCS ramps up support for VVBs

Letter from CEO David Antonioli

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

With the end of the year upon us, I’d like to give a preview of what you will see from VCS in early 2012. Also, we have posted a short agenda of VCS activities in Durban – I hope to see many of you there and hear your thoughts and feedback.

Looking beyond Durban for the moment, VCS is preparing to roll out significant new work in January. Notably, our work to develop requirements for using standardized methods advanced in November, completing public consultation and receiving approval from the VCS Board. We expect to post final requirements in January. Read more below.

Also in early 2012, we will roll out two new products in our ongoing work to scale up guidance and support for validation/verification bodies: a guidance manual to support VVBs and new agreements for VVBs. Read more below.

In addition, we are continuing to build out our process for updating VCS methodologies and expect to roll out more work on this in early 2012. In recent months, VCS staff, management and board have given careful consideration to many of the questions that arise in updating VCS requirements and methodologies. We rolled out initial procedural guidelines for updating methodologies in October and expect to provide more guidance in early 2012.

Sincerely,

David Antonioli

Program Updates

Standardized Methods on target for January release

In November, new requirements for using standardized methods, such as performance benchmarks and positive lists, completed public consultation and received final approval from the VCS board. By moving beyond the project-by-project approach to additionality, this work will provide an important pathway for lowering transaction costs and scaling up GHG emission reductions. We are now preparing the final requirements to be released for use with first quarter program updates coming in January 2012. Read more.

Scaling up VVB support: Guidance manual, new contracts coming soon

Throughout 2011, VCS has been working to ramp up guidance, support and training for the validation/verification bodies that play such a key role in quality assurance. This work will result in two new items in early 2012. The first is a comprehensive guidance manual, which will provide greater clarity for VVBs using VCS requirements and support their efforts to maintain consistency and transparency. Second, VCS is rolling out new VVB contracts, which will clarify the roles and responsibilities of parties. VVBs must sign the new contracts by 8 February 2012 to continue providing services under VCS. VVBs can log onto the VVB Portal for more information.

Coming soon: Consultation on double counting

In coming weeks, VCS will release a consultation paper examining the precise meaning of double counting. With uncertainty about the future of Kyoto, GHG programs need clear rules on how to address and account for emission reductions taking place in both Annex I and non-Annex I countries. The consultation paper sets out a logical framework for addressing double counting and ensuring environmental integrity after 2012.

New AFOLU category: Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands

On 19 October, Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands (ACoGS) joined the growing list of AFOLU project categories. New ACoGS requirements set the stage for projects that avoid planned or unplanned conversion of native grasslands or shrublands, including savanna and chaparral ecosystems. Read the new requirements

Methodology pipeline

Methodology updates: AFOLU methodologies VM0009 and VM0010 released

On 10 November, VCS issued updated versions of two methodologies, VM0009 and VM0010, to incorporate technical and editorial clarifications. The updated versions of the methodologies are effective immediately. New requirements for updating approved methodologies were released with our 19 October program updates, and we are continuing work to build out a comprehensive and robust process for all methodology updates as carbon science and good practice continue to evolve. Stay tuned. Read more about the updates to VM0009 and VM0010

VCS Association Updates

Job Opening: VCS seeks Program Manager though July 2012

VCS is seeking a Program Manager to start immediately and work through the end of July 2012 with the possibility of long-term employment. See the Job Announcement

Durban climate talks: VCS will be present, joining Forest Day and other panels

Look for us at the Durban climate talks, where VCS will host and participate in several panels. David Antonioli will speak at Forest Day, and AFOLU manager Naomi Swickard will host a panel highlighting inputs from governments like Colombia, Acre state and the DRC into our jurisdictional and nested REDD initiative. See the VCS Durban agenda

Warm welcome to William Ferretti, new VCS Senior Policy Advisor

Please extend a warm welcome to William Ferretti, who is a senior policy advisor in his new role at VCS. Will previously worked at the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), where he conducted the Exchange’s day-to-day public policy outreach to the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies. He can be reached at wferretti@v-c-s.org.