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Earlier this year, Gold Standard published a set of principles to guide development of new requirements for certified projects in the voluntary carbon market as the rulebook for the Paris Agreement comes into force in 2021. These principles aim to ensure that the voluntary carbon market continue to catalyse new, ambitious climate action without displacing current policy ambition or corporate ambition.

Gold Standard became an associate member of ISEAL in October 2019, having met entry-level criteria of each of the three ISEAL Codes of Good Practice – Standard-Setting, Assurance and Impacts. This status reflects an ongoing commitment to improvement and meeting the requirements of full ISEAL membership.
 
Gold Standard is the first climate-centric standard to reach this status, joining a growing number of initiatives that are driving positive social and environmental change across multiple sectors.

In 2018, Gold Standard began reassessing the role of carbon finance in supporting the transition to renewable energy to reflect market evolution and to ensure that funding goes to interventions most in need post-2020 when the Paris Agreement comes into force. 

According to ISEAL Alliance “Setting Social and Environmental Standards” Code of Best Practice, the standard is updated on a regular basis to account for broader stakeholder inputs into the standard and to consider updates in the sector. We are undertaking our scheduled update of Gold Standard for the Global Goals to incorporate new rules, updates and changes released since March 2018. We are looking for your feedback and suggestions.

The Paris Agreement poses a new framework for carbon markets. While the Kyoto Protocol was limited in both coverage and ambition, the Paris Agreement applies to all countries and its ambition introduces global net zero emissions targets.

Gold Standard is exploring the possibility of expanding its 'Renewable Energy Label Requirements' to include flexibility for retroactive Renewable Energy projects applying for Renewable Energy Labels. In this context, to promote/encourage such projects, the Gold Standard proposes to introduce the following changes:

i.     Change of definition of start date for retroactive Renewable Energy projects:

Gold Standard expands the scope of its 'Renewable Energy Activity Requirements' to include Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) incineration project activities. Gold Standard developed a set of additional requirements for MSW incineration project activities seeking certification under Gold Standard for the Global Goals. The additional requirements include specific criteria, ranging from stakeholder consultation, project eligibility, environmental emissions and operational requirements to the continuous reporting on the status of regulatory compliance.

This guidance is designed to support the Value Chains Interventions Guidance, with specific focus on how to select and apply methods for the quantification of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC).  SOC represents one of the most significant opportunities to mitigate climate change, particularly through application in company supply chain programmes. This Guidance provides a step-wise approach to SOC measurement and reporting in the context of the Interventions Guidance, in the context of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. 

To manage their carbon footprint, many companies have been focusing on reducing emissions within their direct ownership or operational control (scope 1) and from their purchased electricity, heat and steam (scope 2). However, there is a growing need to reduce value chain emissions (scope 3) to keep global temperatures within safe levels. Despite the increased complexity associated with scope 3 emissions, hundreds of companies are already setting scope 3 reduction targets, and dozens are in line with best practices according to the Science Based Targets initiative.

Gold Standard is reassessing the role of carbon finance in supporting the transition to renewable energy to reflect market evolution and to direct funding to interventions most in need. In many middle and high income countries, Renewable Energy (RE) is becoming a sustainable and attractive business, thanks to the increasingly favourable market, policy and technical conditions that allow finance to flow to projects.