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The Gold Standard releases important new rule updates


— For immediate distribution —

Geneva, Switzerland – 22 November 2011

The Gold Standard, an award-winning certification scheme for carbon credits in both the compliance and voluntary carbon markets, has launched its latest rule updates. These will broaden access to carbon finance and reduce transaction costs for the highest-impact projects, whilst maintaining the highest levels of rigour in carbon accounting and verified sustainable development benefits.

Included in the rule updates are a number of exciting initiatives that help some of the worlds most vulnerable communities gain access to carbon finance, for example, the merger of the Gold Standard’s first-generation and community-focused micro-scale schemes. With this consolidation, the eligibility cap has been raised to include projects that reduce up to 10,000 tCO2e per annum. The approved use of Objective Observers to appraise potential risks and negative impacts has been extended to all activities in this category.

The Gold Standard has also developed a new scheme that allows a programmatic approach to be used on micro-scale activities. In this development, the transaction costs of validation and verification are reduced, making smaller, high impact projects much more feasible.

Refugees are some of the most disadvantaged populations on the planet. To help improve conditions in conflict zones and refugee camps, The Gold Standard has introduced new rules for the validation and verification of project activities located in these areas, where it is often impossible to get auditors (known in UN terms as ‘DOEs’) to visit a site. In these unique circumstances, project proponents are able to combine a desk-based audit by DOEs with an on-site visit conducted by an approved Objective Observer, often a UN or NGO aid worker already in the camp. This enables such projects to be supported by carbon finance.

Adrian Rimmer, CEO of The Gold Standard Foundation said, ”Constantly improving our rules and procedures ensures that The Gold Standard stays at the forefront of innovation in the market. The Gold Standard remains the only carbon offset standard to also deliver verified sustainable development co-benefits. In this regard we play a vital role, demonstrating to the public and civil society that carbon markets can work effectively”.

The new rule updates also include; a tool to help project developers easily check their projects for Gold Standard eligibility; a new grievance mechanism to help foster mutual trust between project owners and local stakeholders; and an extension to six months of the period within which project documentation must be submitted for GS validation in order to use the methodology or tool applicable at the time of first submission.

For a more comprehensive outline of the various rule updates please click on the following document.

22 November 2011: The Gold Standard Rule Updates – Overview Document

All the new rule updates, guidance notes and templates are located in the TAC and rule updates page under the rule update dropdown towards the end of the page.

Grace Period

PoA Programmes can still apply using the earlier version of the Annex F (Dated – 23 December, 2010) as long as the project is formally submitted by 31 December 2011.

Grievance Mechanism: Projects that are formally submitted by 31 December 2011 are not mandated to have a Grievance Mechanism in place.

— ENDS —


Claire Davey
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Gold Standard Foundation
Tel: +41 22 788 7080
Mob: +41 78 947 74 94


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