Carbon Credits


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. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.

The recently launched Peoples Forests Partnership (the Partnership), aims to secure commitments to mobilize $20 billion per year by 2030 to Indigenous Peoples, traditional owners, and local communities (IPLCs) for community-based tropical forest conservation and restoration projects in the Global South. Facilitating members of the Partnership include Forest Trends, RECOFTC, Wildlife Works Carbon, Everland, and Green Collar. This Partnership could help reduce 2 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from deforestation each year, protect 500 million hectares of threatened tropical forest, and support livelihoods and bioeconomy development for over 50 million people in forest communities.    The Partnership was launched last year during the COP 26 conference in Glasgow, following an announcement of funding of $1.7B for IPLCs pledged by Norway, UK, US, Germany, and the Netherlands. The funding, to be provided through 2025, will support the capacity of IPLCs to govern themselves collectively, assist with mapping and registration work, back national land reform, and help resolve conflict over territories.   The Partnership will support performance-based payments, such as carbon credits, and other climate funding mechanisms, including a financing facility specifically focused on strengthening territorial governance to be managed by Forest Trends. The Partnership is organized around two governing principles (i) forest communities are essential conservation partners; and (ii) community-based, values-driven climate and conservation finance projects have the potential to create a future with forests that aligns with forest community rights to their territories, economic self-determination, and cultural traditions.   Facilitating members represent a collective portfolio that includes: over 250,000 Indigenous and other forest community members receiving direct market finance in recognition for protecting forests; ​over 2 million hectares of tropical forests with active climate finance projects; financing already in place for a portfolio of community-based forest conservation projects that will deploy $2 billion in private investment and stop 200 million tonnes of deforestation emissions…

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) today launched its Phase II Report (the Report), setting out an accelerated roadmap to a scaled, high-integrity voluntary market for the trading of carbon credits. The TSVCM is a private sector-led initiative working to scale an effective and efficient voluntary carbon market (VCM) to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The TSVCM was launched by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate and Finance and former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank England and is chaired by Bill Winter, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered (read our earlier bulletins on the TSVCM here and here). Resilient LLP’s Lisa DeMarco is a member of the Legal principles and contracts Working Group of the TSVCM and Resilient LLP is a proud signatory of the TSVCM endorsement letter. This bulletin briefly summarizes the Report’s key points:   Objectives and focus of the TSVCM. The Report indicates that the TSVCM’s primary focus is to raise public awareness of the climate and co-benefits of VCMs and engage with stakeholders to drive both demand and supply in these markets.   Governance. The Report summarizes the Terms of Reference of the new umbrella governance body, which will have a mandate to (i) mitigate climate change and accelerate the transition to net zero; (ii) establish Core Carbon Principles (CCP) eligibility guidelines and additional attributes, an assessment framework for standard setters, and eligibility principles for suppliers and validation and verification bodies (VVBs); (iii) oversee standard setting organizations adherence to the CCPs; (iv) coordinate the work of, and manage interlinkages between, governance bodies; and (v) serve as a steward for the VCM. In addition, the TSVCM is seeking recommendations on the following five topics ahead of establishing the new umbrella body: • Modalities and procedures for the Board of Directors; • Transparency mechanism; • Grievance mechanism; • Transversal…

CIBC, IItaú Unibanco (the largest bank in Latin America), National Australia Bank (Australia’s largest business bank), and NatWest Group (a leading banking and financial services group in the UK and Ireland) today announced the launching of Project Carbon (the Project), a carbon offset platform which will seek to increase transparency in the voluntary carbon markets. The Project aims to provide carbon offsets to clients of the four banks with clear and consistent pricing and standards and aligns with the Mark Carney led Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) (read our earlier bulletins on the TSVCM here and here). Key features of the Project: Represents the book of record for ownership of carbon credits; Allows owners of credits to clearly demonstrate possession, reducing risks of double counting and simplifying reporting; Supports price discovery through the posting of executed trade sizes and prices to the market; Promotes project investment through the transparent demonstration of market demand; Provides full traceability and linkage back to source of the credit; Assists Registries by facilitating the rapid scaling of client base; Takes care of post trade settlement, allowing all market participants including exchanges and marketplaces to offer additional value added services;  Aligned with the objectives of the TSVCM;  Pilot built on a private Ethereum platform developed with ConsenSys.  The Project seeks to increase the delivery of high-quality carbon offset projects, facilitate a liquid carbon credit marketplace, create a strong ecosystem to support offset markets, and develop tools to help manage climate-related risks. The Project is launching as a pilot in August. Institutions interested in advancing the objectives of the of TSVCM are invited to join the Project. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.