In the global fight against climate change, a growing number of companies and countries are making pledges to reduce their emissions and become carbon neutral. Offsetting – the purchase of carbon credits – offers them a way to compensate for emissions that cannot be avoided. The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is the largest voluntary GHG program under which such carbon credits can be certified.
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is a carbon crediting mechanism through which credits are issued to projects that reduce or remove greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The VCS Program is currently the largest issuer of carbon credits and is developed and managed by Verra. There are VCS projects all over the world, employing various methodologies for GHG emission reductions and removals in the following categories: Energy, Industrial Processing, Construction, Transport, Waste, Mining, Agriculture, Forestry, Grasslands, Wetlands and Livestock & Manure. Projects demonstrating additional social or environmental benefits besides reducing emissions are eligible to combine VCS certification with other Verra programs such as the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards. Credits certified under the VCS Program are called Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). In addition to use for voluntary offsetting on an individual or organizational level, VCUs are also accepted for meeting compliance obligations under CORSIA (which sets emission reduction targets for international airlines) and under certain government regulations (which set emission reduction targets for companies).
VCS certification (and additional CCB certification, if desired) consists of validation and verification. Validation and verification are required by VCS in order to guarantee that the VCS requirements are met and the methodologies are properly applied. Control Union is a Validation and Verification Body (VVB) currently undergoing accreditation for VCS and offers:
The figure below gives an overview of the whole process, from project inception to the issuance of VCUs.
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