Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)


The Climate Group, the International Emission Trading Association [IETA] and the World Economic Forum launched the Voluntary Carbon Standard. The VCS aims to provide a credible but simple set of criteria that will provide integrity to the voluntary carbon market and underpin the credible actions that already exist. A goal for the VCS is for it to co-exist with other standards and reinforce those that are robust and already exist (e.g. WBC/WRI GHG Protocol for Project Accounting, Gold Standard). The credits that get certified via the VCS are called Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs).

Voluntary Carbon market:
The carbon market can be subdivided into two trading zones:
  • Zone 1 belongs to the well recognized regulation- driven market like the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) or the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). These markets are large, well funded, and followed by dozens of media outlets, hundreds of traders, and countless businesses.
  • Zone II belongs to voluntary carbon markets which, as the name suggests, are voluntary, i.e. they are characterized by lack of regulatory drivers.

As this market is not part of cap and trade system (where emission allowances can be traded), almost all carbon offsets purchased in this voluntary market originate from project based transactions.

This market has taken over the name of the voluntary Over The Counter (OTC) market as it does not operate via a formal exchange. Credits in this market are often referred to as a Verified (or Voluntary) Emission Reductions (VERs), or simply as carbon offsets.

The driving factor for this market may be an individual or business wanting to manage their climate change impacts, having an innovative interest in philanthropy, wanting public relation benefits, preparing the company to face future national/ international regulations, and plans to re-sell credits at a profit. Suppliers in the offset market include online retailers selling offsets, conservation organizations that hope to utilize the power of carbon finance as a revenue source, developers of potential JI or CDM Projects with credits that cannot be sold into the regulated market due to any reasons, projects developers primarily interested in generating VERs and credits transaction firms.

We offer the following carbon advisory services to our clients:
  • Initial Project Assessment- Estimation of revenue generation from the proposed project activity based on generation data provided by the project developer
  • Documentation- Preparation of the VCS PD
  • Provide assistance in Validation & Verification of project by VCS approved validator & verifier
  • Provide assistance in Registration of project in VCS Registry
  • Assistance in the Sale of VCUs arising from the Project activity in the best interest of project developer.

    Several voluntary markets are in development around the world. However, there is no single regulating body currently enforcing quality standards in relation to the development and trading of VERs. For this reason, it is important to partner with a company like Positive Climate Care, which has extensive experience developing high quality emission reduction projects which deliver real and measurable emission reductions.