Gold Standard Carbon Offsets: An Overview

Gold Standard

Established in 2003 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other international NGOs, the Gold Standard ensures projects. that reduced carbon emissions. featured the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contributed to sustainable development. The Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG) was launched in 2017 for the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement.

GS4GG carbon offsets are known as Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). Currently, GS4GG has issued 266 million VERs from 2,996 projects across over 100 countries, competing with the VCS Program.

Principles of GS4GG Certified Projects

  • Contribution to Climate Security and Sustainable Development: Projects must demonstrate their role in climate change mitigation/adaptation, aligning with sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Safeguarding Principles: Projects must avoid harm to people or the environment and address and mitigate potential negative impacts.
  • Stakeholder Inclusivity: All relevant stakeholders, including local communities, must be involved in project design, implementation, and monitoring.
  • Demonstration of Real Outcomes: Projects must showcase measurable and verifiable results in terms of greenhouse gas emission reductions, sustainable development, and SDG contributions.
  • Financial Additionality and Ongoing Financial Need: Projects must prove their dependence on Gold Standard certification, requiring continual financial support for operation and benefits delivery.

Development Phases for GS4GG Climate Projects

  • Project Design: Developers plan the basic project design, undergo stakeholder consultation, open a registry account and gain SustainCERT approval of the Preliminary Review, achieving “GOLD STANDARD PROJECT LISTED” status.
  • Preliminary Design Review: Third-party validation includes desk reviews and field visits by Validation and verification bodies (VVBs). Then SustainCERT approves project documentation with “GOLD STANDARD DESIGN CERTIFIED” status.
  • Project Implementation: Developers monitor the project according to the approved plan. prepares report for verification .
  • Performance Review: Third-party verifies monitoring report. SustainCERT reviews  approved by VVBs monitoring report which leads to “GOLD STANDARD CERTIFIED PROJECT” status, with the issuance of VERs.

SustainCERT, founded in 2018, is the official certification provider for GS4GG, accrediting Validation and Verification Bodies (VVBs). The Gold Standard Impact Registry tracks certification status, certified SDG impacts, and issued VERs projects, facilitating trading, purchasing, or retirement of carbon offsets.

Options for Carbon Credit Owners

  • Hold: Retain credits without immediate action.
  • Sell: Offer credits on the marketplace or through a broker.
  • Retire: Offset your carbon footprint. You can even help others to offset without requiring them to register with Gold Standard.
  • Transfer: Share credits with another party or organization.

Using VERs in Compliance Market

  • In March 2020, GS4GG gained recognition as a CORSIA Eligible Emissions Unit Programme, providing Eligible Emissions Units to airline operators.
  • Singapore and South Africa permit the use of Gold Standard carbon offsets to reduce reported emissions.

Assistance in Implementing GS4GG Climate Projects

Engage experienced project developers for crafting Project Development Documents (PDDs), considering pricing and terms.

Finances of Gold Standard Carbon Offsets

Expense categories include GS4GG product issuance fee, public registry tracking fee, certification review fees to SustainCERT, project implementation costs, and validation/verification costs varying with VVB and project design.


At the time of writing, there are no climate projects being implemented in the Republic of Moldova in the GS4GG Registry.

Since the editor of this portal also administers a portal on climate regulation in the Russian Federation, in some cases relevant information for the Republic of Moldova may be copied from there.

This article was originally published at the link on the CarbonUnits.RU portal.