The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) last week launched a provisional Claims Code of Practice (the Claims CoP) to guide “credible, voluntary use of carbon credits and associated claims.”
VCMI anticipates that the Claims CoP will:
- provide clear guidance to companies and other non-state actors on when they can credibly make voluntary use of carbon credits as part of their net zero commitments; and
- ensure the credibility of claims made by companies and other private non-state actors regarding this use of carbon credits.
Broadly, the Claims CoP includes four steps:
- Meet the Prerequisites. Companies must make a public commitment to achieve science-aligned long-term net zero emissions no later than 2050 and meet other pre-requisites before making voluntary use of carbon credits (and making a VCMI claim).
- Identify Claim(s) to Make. Companies can make “enterprise-wide” claims (VCMI Gold (net zero), VCMI Silver, VCMI Bronze (only available until 2030)) or “brand-, product-, and service-level” claims.
- Purchase High-Quality Credits. All credits used as the basis for credible claims must be high quality and meet basic criteria (based on work of CORSIA and the IC-VCM).
- Report Transparently on the Use of Carbon Credits. Companies must report full information in publicly available annual corporate sustainability or similar reports to demonstrate that prerequisites and claim requirements have been met.
Detailed information is available in the draft Claims CoP.
Several companies are “road testing” the Claims CoP through Fall 2022. The VCMI is also collecting public feedback on the draft until August 12, 2022.