The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) has released its long-awaited Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) that are intended to define the criteria for high integrity carbon credits. The 10 CCPs were released today at the European Climate Summit in Lisbon following broad and controversial consultation on draft principles in 2022. They are intended to build additional trust in the voluntary carbon market, unlock investment at scale, and deliver real climate impact at the speed and scale necessary to transition to a 1.5ºC pathway. They apply to carbon crediting programs/standards (CC Program), GHG emission reductions/removals (ERRs) and categories of projects (Methodology Type). This bulletin briefly summarizes the 10 CCPs
|CCP||Sub-ordinate Requirements||Applicable Entity||Details|
|A. Governance||1. Effective Governance||CC Program
Note: Programs that have already met the CORSIA requirements will not be required to demonstrate compliance with the detailed Governance CCPs
|Program governance must ensure transparency, accountability, continuous improvement and credit quality.|
|2. Tracking||CC Program||Must have a registry to uniquely identify, record, track credits securely and unambiguously.|
|3. Transparency||CC Program||Transparent information, publicly available in electronic format, to enable scrutiny by all audiences.|
|4. Robust 3rd Party Validation/Verification||CC Program||Must have/require independent 3rd party validation and verification.|
|B. Emissions Impact||5. Additionality||ERRs and Methodology Type||ERRs would not have occurred in the absence of the incentive from carbon credit revenue.|
|6. Permanence||ERRs and Methodology Type||Permanent or measures in place to address risk of reversal and compensation for same (buffer).|
|7. Robust Quantification of Emission Reductions/Removals||CC Program||Thorough process for assessing and approving methodologies with public stakeholder and expert involvement. Robust and conservative quantification based on complete and scientific methods.|
|8. No Double Counting||ERRs||No double issuance, double claiming, double use. Starts to address assessment of host country authorization under Article 6 with further details to follow.|
|C. Sustainable Development (SD)||9. SD Benefits and Safeguards||CC Program||Guidance, tools and compliance procedures to go beyond industry best practices on social and environmental safeguards and deliver positive SD impacts. May require FPIC from local communities and indigenous peoples. Build upon the World Bank/IFC Environmental and Social Safeguards.|
|10. Contribution toward Net Zero Transition||Methodology Type||Avoid locking in GHG tech or GHG intensive practices incompatible with Net Zero by 2050|
The CCPs are operationalized through a Program-Level Assessment Framework (PAF) that provides additional criteria and decision tools to assess compliance with each of the CCPs. Both the CC Program and the credit category (Methodology Type) must meet the CCPs in order for any carbon credits to use the CCP label. The Category-Level Assessment Framework(CAF) has yet to be released and is anticipated in Q2 2023. As a result, no carbon credits will bear the CCP label until the CAF has been released and both the PAF and CAF have been applied to a CC Program and a specific methodology category. The ICVCM’s Assessment Procedure is also documented in the released guidance.
We anticipate that the additionality assessments, which appear to be based on financial additionality, the Environmental and Social Safeguards, and the continuous improvement CCPs will be the most challenging to meet.
Additional tags will be available for Article 6-related attributes including: host country authorization (Attribute 1), share of the proceeds for adaptation (Attribute 2), and quantified positive SDG impacts (Attribute 3). This marks the initial standardized convergence of the voluntary carbon markets and the Paris Agreement carbon markets.