Verra – the nonprofit organization setting standards for climate action and sustainable development, unveiled on November 27th its new methodology for issuing carbon credits from projects under the United Nation’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD+) framework.
“Keeping forests standing is vital to achieving our global climate goals. Deforestation accounts for as much as a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon markets are the best and most readily available tool we have for forest protection. Today marks a substantial advancement for ensuring the integrity of REDD and supporting the scaling up of these critical activities,” commented on the announcement Toby Janson-smith, Chief Program Development And Innovation Officer at Verra.
The new REDD+ methodology includes updates on the projects’ baseline calculations. Verra will now lead and manage the baseline setting process via jurisdictional-level data. According to the organization, the baseline being consistent with how national and jurisdictional-level authorities calculate them will reduce the potential for perceived or actual conflicts of interest at the project proponent level, enable greater quality control, and support government action.
It will also use more advanced technologies, employing advanced remote sensing technologies coupled with a thorough risk assessment. The new process will determine the expected deforestation for a project area, allowing the number of verified emission reductions from all projects in a jurisdiction to be consistent with jurisdictional-scale accounting.
The organization will enhance its efforts to help achieve the nationally determined climate targets as outlined in the Paris Agreement to increase global investments in protecting natural forests. It has reduced the baseline reassessment period from ten years to six in all methodologies that address avoiding unplanned deforestation.
In addition to Verra, other stakeholders and experts in the industry also took part in the development of the new methodology, which began in 2020. Co-authors are Tim Pearson of GreenCollar, Till Neeff, Simon Koenig of Climate Focus, Kevin Brown and Sarah Walker of the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Manuel Estrada.