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At the beginning of a critical decade for climate action, Gold Standard continues to believe in the role and power of carbon markets to drive finance towards high-quality projects that reduce emissions and promote development.

 

We are pleased now to share our next steps following a public consultation on aligning Gold Standard projects and requirements with the framework and underpinning rules of the Paris Agreement.
 
These steps are designed to ensure that Gold Standard projects can continue to drive impact and meet new and varied sources of demand over the next decade and beyond and to safeguard the credibility of the market.
 
Gold Standard received formal feedback from more than 30 respondents and held webinars and meetings with several hundred stakeholders from a wide variety of geographies and sectors. All formal feedback has been published on our website, summarised in today’s publication, and considered carefully.
 

 KEY NEXT STEPS 
  • Verified emission reductions will continue to be issued as per normal processes. To protect the integrity of claims made against these credits, Gold Standard will update its guidance to clarify that Gold Standard credits issued for emission reductions in the Paris era (recognised as 2021 onward) will only be deemed authorised for use towards offsetting or carbon- or climate-neutral claims where the risk of double claiming has been addressed.
 
  • We will introduce new procedures to operationalise corresponding adjustments for credits used for CORSIA, Article 6.2 and for voluntary offsetting or carbon neutral claims, to facilitate and recognise where the risk of double claiming with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has been addressed. We will also develop initial guidance for new (non-offsetting) claims, which could be made when using any ex-post Gold Standard credit. 
 
  • Recognising that a transition is needed, we will not actively challenge or dispute specific unauthorised claims made when using credits generated in developing countries with 2021 to 2024 vintages. For credits generated in developed countries in this time, where we expect capacity to be greater, we will retain the ability to do so under our Claims Guidance. Instead, we encourage buyers and retailers to take responsibility themselves for the integrity of their claims and anticipate greater scrutiny of any who do not do so. Read more on new claims.
 
  • We will take steps to ensure these changes are applied in an equitable, rigorous and transparent way, including through work with governments and other partners to implement transparent and reliable procedures for corresponding adjustments. We will also consider whether to extend the period in which we waive our right to act against unauthorised claims for particular credits, for instance those generated in LDCs, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and conflict zones.
 
  • We will develop a new assessment approach to demonstrate ongoing financial need at crediting period renewal, ensuring this is suitable for different project types. This will provide assurance to buyers and help to ensure Gold Standard projects do not have to compete with those that are financially sustainable in the absence of carbon finance.
   
  • We will update other elements of our rules and requirements, including those related to baseline-setting and additionality, following the outcome of Article 6 negotiations at COP26.

For an overview of Gold Standard’s next steps and a summary of the consultation feedback:


 
PUBLISHED 24 June 2021

ALIGNING GOLD STANDARD PROJECTS WITH THE PARIS AGREEMENT
Summary of consultation feedback + next steps
 
We have provided some frequently asked questions and are happy to speak to stakeholders about these steps and what they mean for you, in particular project developers and credit buyers seeking more information on claims that can be made when retiring Gold Standard credits. Please contact us if you would like to do so.

 

Thank you for the feedback received during the consultation period. We appreciate the consideration and time that stakeholders have given to these important issues that will govern the next generation of the voluntary carbon market.

Climate impact claims
to crowd in private sector finance 


Expanding the universe of claims possible under the voluntary carbon market beyond offsetting and carbon neutrality can build on the market's success while accommodating a new reality where unique ownership of claims for beyond-boundary climate action will be increasingly limited. Rather than being a barrier to scaling private sector investment in the market, this broader claims landscape can crowd in actors for more voluntary climate action.  

Read full commentary on climate impact claims

Gold Standard’s Response to Taskforce
for Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market Phase II report


Gold Standard published an open response to the public consultation launched by the Taskforce for Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market (TSVCM) on its Phase II deliverables. Gold Standard supports the overall aim of scaling a high-quality carbon market that can drive greater levels of investment into climate action. We consider there to be a number of good ideas being proposed, yet there are also significant gaps in scope that render the mission to scale the market incomplete and, in some areas, dangerously deficient if not addressed. 

 

By accident or design, we are concerned that the proposals of the Taskforce fail to build for the future in several fundamental areas, and therefore risk locking in the market of the past. In particular, we share the following concerns: 

  1. A disproportionate focus on meeting wishes of the demand side, without due consideration for those supplying credits, particularly in developing countries
     
  2. Failure to address core issues on alignment with the Paris Agreement, in particular double claiming
     
  3. Insufficient regard to different applications of the voluntary carbon market that are emerging, which risks holding back the growth of new claims beyond offsetting
     
  4. A lack of provisions to value and encourage higher-integrity, higher-impact projects and activity scopes
     
  5. Proposals for governance that have a danger of stifling innovation or compromising equitable market access without due care, and that seem to relax conflict of interest rules for Founding Sponsors willing to cover the body's eye-watering costs

Gold Standard stands in support of the TSVCM's efforts if these genuinely act to build a higher-volume high-integrity market that can shift to dial in global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Read our recommendations to achieve this in our full response to the TSVCM Phase II Report.
 
Full Response to the TSVCM Phase II report
LONDON CLIMATE ACTION WEEK

Scope 3: The Key for Net Zero


01 July 2021
16:00 CEST | 15:00 BST | 10:00 EDT

Gold Standard and SustainCERT are hosting a discussion with the Science Based Targets initiative and companies to explore how businesses can take climate action in and beyond their value chains and credibly report progress toward their performance targets.

REGISTER
EVENTS
IN THE NEWS
London Climate Action Week 2021 - Scope 3: The Key for Net Zero
24 June - 4 July 2021
Register

Carbon Markets and Regulation
16 July 2021
Register

VERGE: Net Zero - Accelerating the transition to a climate-positive future
27-28 July 2021
Register

 
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Carbon Pulse , 20 May 2021

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Financial Times, 14 June 2021

Platts Launches Nature-Based, Household Devices Carbon Credit Assessments
Cision, 15 June 2021
 
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