UPDATED 28 Jun 2023
Closed consultation

Integrity for scale: Aligning Gold Standard projects with the Paris Agreement

  • CONSULTATION PERIOD 15 Mar 2021 - 15 Apr 2021
  • SCOPE ACTIVITY Climate Action

The voluntary carbon market is in the midst of transformative changes. The Taskforce on Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market blueprint could spur new mechanics for trading in the voluntary carbon market, including upgraded infrastructure and a drive for standardisation and integrity. Meanwhile, the WWF Blueprint for Corporate Action on Climate and Nature and the Net Zero Standard under consultation by the Science Based Targets Initiative will establish new norms for best practice in the use of carbon credits in the context of credible corporate climate action.

And importantly, this November, UNFCCC negotiators are due to adopt guidance under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, expected to provide the framework for carbon trading in the post-2020 period and set a benchmark for activities serving the voluntary market, as the CDM has done historically.

In this changing context, Gold Standard aims to be at the forefront of efforts to ensure carbon market activities represent best practice in the post-2020 period, that Gold Standard credits remain in demand and eligible in as many markets as possible, and that the claims made when credits are used have integrity.

We are therefore seeking feedback on two documents: 

1. Integrity for scale: Aligning Gold Standard-certified projects with the Paris Agreement

An overview of the main areas of change that Gold Standard believes will be necessary for projects serving the voluntary carbon market, in order to support the Paris Agreement’s overall goals and align with the emerging rules under its Article 6. It covers:

- Transitions and renewal of existing projects – determining the vulnerability of projects and ongoing additionality 

- Using voluntary carbon credits in the post-2020 era – including the use of corresponding adjustments and opportunities for alternative claims

- Aligning with the Paris Agreement – integrity of other provisions such as ensuring emission reductions are real, contributing to sustainable development and to the overall mitigation efforts

2. Treatment of Double Counting and Corresponding Adjustments in Voluntary Carbon Markets

This document provides further detail to project developers, and other stakeholders, on how this requirement will be operationalised in practice, this document includes our propositions for enhancing functionality within the Gold Standard Registry, information sharing, requirements for project developers, timing for LoAA submissions and other important safeguards. It will continue to evolve as necessary and we welcome stakeholders’ feedback on areas where information could be added or clarified.

During this time of increased change in the voluntary carbon market, Gold Standard seeks to create more clarity, certainty and opportunity for all market participants, especially for existing projects set up prior to 2021 that wish to continue operations in the post-2020 period. These documents, and the engagement that will follow, is part of our efforts to help project developers to manage this transition smoothly and seize new opportunities in a diversifying landscape. If you would like to more information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to [email protected] your questions, concerns or areas for clarification.

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