Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program

Verified Carbon Standard

Overview of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program is administered by a non-profit organization Verra. At the time of writing VCS program has produced 1.2 bln Verified Carbon Units (VCU) from 2100+ climate projects in 95 countries. 665 mln of VCU were retired.

he Verified Carbon Standard

The closest competitor in terms of the number of issued carbon credits is the Gold Standard program, which has issued 266 million carbon credits, the analysis of which is available at the link.

As of today, January 4, 2024, there are 3 VCS-registered climate projects in the Russian Federation, and no carbon credits have been issued for them since 2010.

Certification for the VCS climate project entails adherence to the VCS Standard’s rules and requirements, the correct application of methodologies, local laws, and prevention of negative impacts on stakeholders. A rigorous audit process involving both Verra staff and independent auditors confirms the effectiveness of the program.

All related to VCS projects information is stored and publicly accessible through the Registry System including documents about generation and retirement of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs).

Overview how to develop a climate project to generate VCUs:

  1. Select a methodology: Choose an existing methodology from the VCS framework or develop your own if needed. 
  2. Create an account in the Verra Registry.
  3. Using the VCS Project Description template prepare a project description. Submit it to the Registry for a thirty-day public comment period. 
  4. Finalize project description using VCS Project Description template: 
  5. Getting a Project Description validated by an approved Validation/Verification Bodies (VVB). Submit it to the Registry for climate project registration.
  6. Track and measure GHG emission reductions or removals for the defined monitoring period. Complete monitoring report, using VCS monitoring template
  7. Getting monitoring report verified by VVB 
  8. Submit monitoring report for approval to the Registry.
  9. Submit an issuance request to the Registry to receive VCUs

What can be done with VCUs?

There are several options for owner:

  • Hold: Keep them for future use or sale.
  • Sell: Sell them on the carbon marketplace or through a broker.
  • Retire: Offset your carbon footprint. You can even help others to offset without requiring them to register with Verra.
  • Transfer: Give VCUs to another party or organization.

VCUs can also be used in compliance markets such as: 

VCU certification label approves that such credits may be used in other standards (programs):

  • Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards
  • Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta)
  • Crown Standard
  • W+ Standard

VCU market label approves that credits may be used in certain markets:

  • Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
  • Mitigation Outcome Type (GHG Emissions Reductions and Carbon Dioxide Removals) 

Getting help with Verified Carbon Standard project

Several project developers can help create and implement climate project. Some examples include C-Quest Capital, South Pole, and Agendi.

Financing Verified Carbon Standard project

There are three main categories of fees associated with VCS projects:

  • Verra fees: These are outlined in the VCS Program Fee Schedule.
  • Project development fees: These are paid to the project developer.
  • Auditing fees: These are paid to the VVB that verifies project.

Contact Verra

For more information, visit the Verra website or connect with them on LinkedIn