The Core Carbon Principles

Core Carbon Principles - Основные принципы углеродных единиц

The Core Carbon Principles. Overview

The fight against climate change demands robust tools. While the voluntary carbon market offers promising potential, ensuring the quality and impact of its credits is crucial. This is where the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) – a global benchmark developed by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) in collaboration with nearly 350 stakeholders – steps in.

Imagine a world where identifying and valuing high-integrity carbon credits is straightforward and reliable, regardless of their issuer, project type, or location. The CCPs make this a reality by establishing clear, rigorous standards that eliminate market confusion and unlock impactful climate investment. Buyers gain the confidence they deserve, directing capital towards projects delivering genuine emissions reductions and tangible sustainable development benefits.

Let’s delve deeper into the 10 Core Carbon Principles that pave the way for this transformed reality:

1. Governance:

  • Effective Governance: Transparent, accountable program governance guarantees continuous improvement and overall credit quality.
  • Tracking: A secure, accessible registry tracks every mitigation activity and issued credit.
  • Transparency: Comprehensive, transparent information readily available to the public empowers informed scrutiny of all credited activities.
  • Robust independent third-party validation and verification: Robust, independent third-party validation and verification safeguard program integrity, building trust and confidence.

2. Emissions Impact:

  • Additionality: Carbon credits reward and incentivize emission reductions that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise, maximizing genuine climate impact.
  • Permanence: Credits represent lasting emission reductions, or in situations with potential reversal risks, robust measures are in place to address and compensate for any reversal.
  • Robust quantification of emission reductions and removals: Precise quantification of emission reductions and removals utilizes conservative approaches, completeness, and scientific methods, ensuring credibility and reliability.
  • No Double Counting: Credits contribute once, preventing duplications and inflated claims, further bolstering market integrity.

3. Sustainable Development:

  • Sustainable development benefits and safeguards: Carbon-crediting programs prioritize adhering to and exceeding established industry best practices regarding social and environmental safeguards, guaranteeing positive contributions to sustainable development.
  • Contribution toward net zero transition: Mitigation activities avoid locking us into unsustainable practices or technologies, paving the way for a future aligned with achieving net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century.

Beyond mere offsets, CCP-labelled credits represent investments in a healthier, sustainable future. By building trust and confidence, the Core Carbon Principles unlock vital capital for the most effective climate action. Joining this movement paves the way for a future where every carbon credit fuels meaningful contributions to a world free from the clutches of climate change.

CCP-Approved Carbon Credits

In the growing landscape of the voluntary carbon market, ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of carbon credits is paramount. This is where the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) and the associated Core Carbon Principles Assessment Framework (CCPAF) come into play. To be designated as CCP-approved, a carbon credit must undergo a rigorous assessment process at two distinct levels:

1. Program Level:

  • This initial stage of evaluation focuses on the crediting program itself. The ICVCM defines a crediting program as “a standardized framework that registers mitigation activities and issues carbon credits.” Essentially, this level assesses the robust procedures and methodologies employed by the program to ensure the quality and credibility of the credits it generates.

2. Credit Category Level:

  • Established by the ICVCM’s Categories Working Group (CWG), this level delves into the specific category to which the carbon credit belongs. Categories encompass distinct types of climate action projects, such as REDD+ forestry or renewable energy. The CWG meticulously evaluates each category against the CCPs, ensuring that its methodologies and standards align with the highest levels of environmental integrity and climate impact potential.

Additional Transparency through Tagging:

The ICVCM doesn’t stop at mere compliance with the CCPs. It seeks to provide potential buyers with further insight into the attributes of each credit through a tagging system known as “CCP attributes.” These tags will highlight crucial aspects that may resonate with specific buyer preferences, such as:

  • Host country authorization and corresponding adjustment: Whether the host country has officially authorized the project and whether corresponding adjustments have been applied to prevent double-counting.
  • Contribution to the Adaptation Fund: Whether the project contributes financially to the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund, supporting vulnerable communities in adapting to climate change impacts.
  • Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals: Whether the project quantifies a positive impact on one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, signifying its broader contributions to global sustainability.

Current Situation with CCP Assessment at Program and Category Levels

At the time of writing this article, no programs or categories have yet been approved under the CCPAF. However, major carbon credit programs like Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Gold Standard have already initiated the program-level assessment process with the ICVCM. This proactive engagement demonstrates their commitment to upholding the highest standards of quality and integrity within the voluntary carbon market.

In the current voluntary carbon market, ensuring demand for carbon credits is crucial for successful climate projects. However, several challenges persist, including an oversupply of credits, concerns about their quality (as highlighted in publications like The Guardian and The New Yorker), and consequently, low prices. To navigate these challenges, project developers need to carefully choose the right carbon credit program and project type, ensuring robust implementation throughout.

The CCP framework can be a valuable tool for project developers in overcoming these initial hurdles. By aligning with the CCPs at both the program and category levels, developers can demonstrate the credibility and effectiveness of their projects, potentially attracting a wider pool of potential buyers.

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.