ICVCM Unveils First Approved Methodologies Under Core Carbon Principles

ICVCM Unveils First Approved Methodologies Under Core Carbon Principles - Carbon Herald

The Integrity Council for the voluntary carbon market (ICVCM) has identified the initial batch of carbon crediting methodologies that meet their strict Core Carbon Principles (CCPs). 

This announcement represents a significant step forward for the organization’s ongoing evaluation process and the VCM at large. 

Seven methodologies for generating carbon credits have been given the green light by the ICVCM. This means that roughly 27 million carbon credits can now be labeled with the CCP designation. 

These credits stem from projects that target potent greenhouse gasses by capturing methane emissions from landfills and eliminating ozone-depleting substances found in discarded appliances.

Assessments are still underway for an additional 27 categories of carbon credits, encompassing over half of the entire market. These categories include further methods for tackling landfill gas and ozone-depleting substances, representing a potential pool of millions more credits. 

Evaluations are also ongoing for popular methodologies like REDD+ (forest protection programs) and clean cookstove initiatives. 

The ICVCM releases its assessment decisions progressively as the Governing Board reaches them. The order of announcements is based on various factors, including information availability and expert accessibility, and doesn’t reflect the integrity of the methodologies themselves.

Relevant: ICVCM Approves Gold Standard, ACR and Climate Action Reserve, Still Reviewing Verra

Annette Nazareth, ICVCM Chair, said: “The Core Carbon Principles set a high bar for integrity and the CCP label is designed to help buyers identify carbon credits that meet our rigorous standards. We are delighted that the first credits can now be tagged with the CCP label – they are issued by projects that capture potent greenhouse gasses which are essential to deliver an “emergency brake” on warming in the near term.”

“Governments increasingly recognise that a high-integrity VCM can play a key role in scaling up private sector finance for high-quality projects to reduce emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere.”

This development comes on the heels of the U.S. government outlining principles for high-integrity carbon credits, which closely align with the ICVCM’s CCPs. 

These principles acknowledge the potential of a high-quality voluntary carbon market to significantly reduce emissions, echoing the ICVCM and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative’s (VCMI) efforts to elevate standards in the carbon credit industry.

A well-received development

The world’s largest carbon market infrastructure provider Xpansiv welcomed the news and announced it is immediately taking steps to support the CCP tagging regime throughout its global VCM infrastructure. This covers two components:

CCP Tag Display in the Xpansiv Connect Portfolio Management System
CCP tags for eligible credits from ACR and Climate Action Reserve (CAR) will immediately be displayed in the Xpansiv Connect portfolio management system as soon as the credits are tagged by the registries. Tags for CCP credits from Verra will be displayed in Xpansiv Connect by month end, along with tags for removals and reduction credits from the registry.

CCP GEO Standardized Spot Contract Launch
The company expects to announce the final contract specification and launch date shortly. Xpansiv designed its CCP Global Emissions Offset™ (GEO®) contract following a market-wide consultation with more than 75 key participants in the first quarter of this year.

Many other stakeholders also gladly received the new development, such as Teresa Hartmann, Chief Ratings Officer at BeZero Carbon, who said: “The ICVCM’s announcement of the first carbon-crediting methodologies granted a Core Carbon Principles label takes us a step closer to an integrated market that understands what quality looks like.”

“The CCP label is a useful threshold standard for methodologies, and will spur activity in this high-potential market. Project-level ratings are complementary to this threshold and provide a vital analytical tool for investors in projects and a central part of due diligence. Standards like the CCPs improve carbon project methodologies—carbon ratings are how we can improve the projects themselves.”

Meanwhile, others also praised the Integrity Council’s announcement, but cautioned buyers against relying on the CCP label as the sole criteria for quality. Simon Turek, Managing Director of PNZ Carbon, said: “The CCP labels granted by the ICVCM today represent a huge step forward for integrity in the Voluntary Carbon Market. Thanks to the ICVCM’s efforts, the market is maturing into a force for immense environmental impact. However, at this nascent stage, many smaller projects like ours are still awaiting timescales for CCP assessment.”

Relevant: Verra Gets ICVCM Approval For Its Verified Carbon Standard Program

“Businesses should look to the CCPs for guidance, but must in the interim do their own due diligence to assess the integrity of carbon credits. This is crucial to ensure that impactful projects, which are further down the ICVCM’s priority list, are not overlooked. The absence of a CCP label does not mean a project is of poor quality – especially at this early stage of development.”

A Gold Standard spokesperson also commented on the announcement: “The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market has announced that the first methodologies meeting its Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) include two Gold Standard methodologies: ACM0001 – Flaring or use of Landfill Gas versions 15-19, and AMS iii G – Landfill Methane Recovery version 10. Credits generated under these methodologies are now formally approved as CCP-eligible, where certain conditions are met.”

“We’re delighted that these Gold Standard methodologies are in the first group to be approved.  We anticipate that many more of our methodologies will achieve CCP eligibility in due course. The phased nature of ICVCM’s approach means that methodologies will be reviewed in sequence, rather than all at once. Buyers should remember that just because a credit isn’t CCP eligible currently, it doesn’t mean it will never be.”

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