What is the role of the IC-VCM?
What is the role of the IC-VCM?
by: Jessica Campbell | April 19, 2023
Boyertown, Pennsylvania (April 19, 2023) – The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) emerged last year as one of the recommendations of the task force on scaling the voluntary carbon markets (TSVCM). The TSVCM recognized the power of the VCM and its potential to play a more significant role in the mitigation of climate change but suggested that there needed to be increased standardization across the market to reach its full potential and achieve maximum benefit. The mandate of the IC-VCM is, therefore, to ‘build integrity and scale will follow.’ After holding a public engagement period during the latter half of 2022, the IC-VCM launched its updated Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) in March 2023.
The recent launch is considered ‘Release One’ and includes the finalized list of the 10 CCPs and the Programme-level Assessment Framework. Using the Programme-level Assessment Framework, GHG registries, and programs can now start to prepare their applications to be CCP eligible. The IC-VCM has recognized the overlap between the programme-level assessment and CORSIA’s rigorous assessment process that most programs have already undergone. Therefore, CORSIA-eligible programs will only need to demonstrate compliance with some additional criteria rather than the whole framework.
The remaining part of the Assessment Framework will determine the eligible credit categories and will be released in Q2. At that point, both the eligible programs and credit categories can be assessed. The IC-VCM has indicated that it expects decisions on which credits can be labeled CCP-compliant as early as the end of 2023.
The 10 CCPs have not changed significantly since the draft release but are now grouped into three main categories:
- Governance – effective governance at the credit programme-level, tracking of credits through a registry system, transparency, third-party validation, and verification
- Emissions Impact – additionality, permanence, robust quantification, and no double counting
- Sustainable Development – social and environmental safeguards, and avoid locking in technologies or practices that are incompatible with reaching net zero GHG emissions by mid-century
There will also be three voluntary attributes that a project can apply for:
- Host country authorization pursuant to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
- Share of Proceeds for Adaptation
- Quantified Positive SDG Impacts
ClimeCo is confident that the projects and registries we work with represent the highest quality in the market and are part of a market ecosystem that strives to make continuous improvements, regardless of the work of the IC-VCM. We are hopeful that the IC-VCM’s assessment will highlight the positive impact those programs and projects are having and the high standards that are already adhered to.
Although we generally agree with the evaluation criteria for governance and emissions impact, there remains some uncertainty about how the IC-VCM will ultimately evaluate projects under category 3 – Sustainable Development. As the CCP label is a binary decision (pass/fail), we hope there is recognition of the highly variable opportunities and constraints based on a project’s geography and category, as well as the importance of supporting transition technologies today which will lead us down the path of continuous innovation.
About the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market
The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (Integrity Council) is an independent governance body for the voluntary carbon market.
They do this by setting and enforcing definitive global threshold standards, drawing on the best science and expertise available, so high-quality carbon credits channel finance towards genuine and additional greenhouse gas reductions and removals that go above and beyond what can otherwise be achieved, and contribute to climate resilient development.
For more information visit their website.
ClimeCo is a respected global advisor, transaction facilitator, trader, and developer of environmental commodity market products and related solutions. We specialize in voluntary carbon, regulated carbon, renewable energy credits, plastics credits, and regional criteria pollutant trading programs. Complimenting these programs is a team of professionals skilled in providing sustainability program management solutions and developing and financing of GHG abatement and mitigation systems.