VER Standards: Carbon Standards Need to Adapt to Expanding Voluntary Market

January 25th, 20125:11 pm @

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A combination of government policies that foster local offset development and solid, practical evaluation frameworks to ensure the quality and effectiveness of these offsets, is key to moving forward in the direction of sustainable capitalism.

London, UK (PRWEB) January 25, 2012

verstandards.co.uk today released an article that claims carbon credit quality standards need to adapt to meet the needs of expanding voluntary carbon markets worldwide. The article comes in response to post- Durban climate talks, which stress the importance of government efforts that encourage voluntary domestic offset projects in the absence of overarching international compliance agreement.

“A combination of government policies that foster local offset development and solid, practical evaluation frameworks to ensure the quality and effectiveness of these offsets, is key to moving forward in the direction of sustainable capitalism,” says Tonka Dobreva of Dezz, the green investments media agency operating verstandards.co.uk. “This way, polluters can keep working on reducing the effects of climate change while they wait for a comprehensive compliance agreement to replace Kyoto.”

The article explains that during the Durban Climate Summit earlier this month, several national representatives presented their government policies that encourage voluntary action “ahead of, or beyond, climate regulation.” The article cites Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director of UK’s Carbon Neutral Company, who suggests that governments and companies operating on the Voluntary Carbon Market need to seek various ways for collaboration.

Some national governments, the article explains, have already taken practical steps in that direction. According to verstandards.co.uk, Australia’s National Carbon Offset Scheme encourages local forest and land-use projects; Japan’s J-VER scheme favours domestic offsets by establishing higher prices for their carbon credits; Chile has launched the Santiago Climate Exchange; and in the U.S., voluntary offset standards and methodologies are being included in emerging state and regional cap-and-trade schemes, such as the one launching in California in 2012; in France, government attention has also turned to expanding the domestic offset market; and in South Africa, a provision in its proposed carbon tax reduces carbon tax liabilities when local offset projects are favoured by companies obliged to offset.

The carbon investment website further claims that it is essential for third-party quality carbon standards to adapt their evaluation processes to meet the needs of the expanding voluntary markets. The article affirms recently implemented updates in the certification scheme of Gold Standard carbon credits, claiming they point in the right direction of where all standards need to go. As of November, the article says, Gold Standard carbon credits are evaluated under a new set of methodologies for micro-scale carbon offset activities. For example, transaction costs for validation and verification of Gold Standard carbon credits were reduced, allowing small-scale, high impact offsets to take advantage of the system.

According to verstandards.co.uk, other updates in the evaluation process of Gold Standard carbon credits include an easy-to-use tool for project developers, which simplifies the process for checking the eligibility of their projects. In addition, an improved mechanism ensures that there is mutual trust between project owners and local stakeholders. The Gold Standard organisation also extended the timeframe for the submission of project documentation.

The article further acknowledges that it is sometimes almost impossible for voluntary carbon standards to send auditors and monitor offset projects in conflict areas. Therefore, as the Gold Standard has been doing, evaluating the effectiveness of these initiatives by a combination of desk-based auditors and on-site visits by designated international officers is key.

Article source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/carbon-standards/gold-standard/prweb9136871.htm