UPDATED 27 September 2023

Our new double-counting guidelines

We have updated our rules on double counting of emissions reductions. Double Counting is a risk that occurs where a Gold Standard carbon credit is issued from a project in a host country that engages in emissions trading (domestically or internationally).


In these conditions it is possible that in addition to the claim on the Gold Standard credit a second unit is also inadvertently claimed by the host country or second buyer. This risk undermines the credibility of both the Gold Standard credit and the host country (or international) accounting.

In the current climate of post-Kyoto change it is particularly important that these risks are monitored and addressed on an ongoing basis. The guideline therefore applies to all projects where a risk of double counting is perceived.

Where a risk of double counting exists (for example for Gold Standard projects in Kyoto Annex B countries) the guideline stipulates that either:

a) The Project Developer may seek evidence to demonstrate to Gold Standard that in fact their issuance is not at any risk.

b) The Project Developer may cancel a valid/eligible unit as applicable within the host country/international accounting mechanism.

The guideline mitigates the potential for double counting by ‘backing up’ against the possibility of a second claim by cancelling a second unit. In the context of international emissions trading it may not be feasible to cancel units from the host country (as these may simply not be available). The backing up therefore ensures that the overall international accounting is in balance. For more information on our double counting rules

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