UPDATED 26 January 2024


Response from the Gold Standard Foundation to the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market’s consultation on its draft Core Carbon principles, Assessment framework and Assessment procedure

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  • Gold Standard team,

Gold Standard has submitted its response to the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) Consultation on its draft Core Carbon Principles, Assessment Framework and Assessment Procedure.

27 September 2022 
If the voluntary carbon market is to play an enduring, stable, and impactful role in global efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions, its growth must be based on firm foundations of quality and integrity. Gold Standard welcomes the proposals put forward by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) as a positive step towards achieving this objective. We are pleased to share with the IC-VCM  Secretariat our overall assessment of its purpose and proposals, as well as areas where we believe the proposals could be further strengthened or where modifications are required.

Overall assessment

For nearly twenty years, Gold Standard has sought to support and enable projects that represent the highest levels of quality and at the same time contribute to sustainable development. In this time, we have continuously sought to evolve in line with best practice and science, to maintain and strengthen the rigour of our work, and to retain the trust of market actors in the process that we oversee and the credits  that we issue.

The market is at a critical turning point, with increased scrutiny from market actors and from regulators, new norms and requirements stemming from the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and an opportunity to play a significant role in global decarbonisation efforts if we get the fundamentals right.

In this context, we increasingly see the importance of the IC-VCM to ensure high standards and provide a benchmark for quality across the market, and to shine a spotlight on entities issuing credits that do not meet this benchmark. We do not have time for the trust of those willing to invest to be shaken by standards and methodologies that fall short of where we should be.

The role of crediting standards is not an easy one, and it will not be made easier by the introduction of a new governance body and the rigorous requirements proposed by the IC-VCM. It is though our view that this is as it should be. Carbon credits are not a tangible asset that can be held and examined. They are instruments based on trust: trust in the rigour of a standard’s procedures and requirements, of a project developer’s monitoring and activity, and a verifier’s due diligence, all which are complex and difficult for non-experts to understand. We believe that the Core Carbon Principles – enabling and enhancing the good work and approaches that have been established  by standards and other market actors over several decades - can help to instill this trust, and to secure the foundations of the carbon market to allow it to scale with integrity and confidence.

In our response, which you can download below, we outline key recommendations and comments for the IC-VCM to consider.

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