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Accelerating credible net-zero climate action

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work at COP26

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VCMI is a multi-stakeholder platform to drive credible, net-zero aligned participation in voluntary carbon markets.

To avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change, global warming must be kept to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Voluntary carbon markets provide an opportunity to direct private finance towards climate mitigation and nature-based solutions.

But integrity is crucial. VCMI engages stakeholders around a shared mission to ensure voluntary carbon markets fulfil their potential to support the goals of the Paris Agreement.

VCMI connects and amplifies initiatives that share its vision for high integrity voluntary carbon markets. In addition, it focuses on a few key areas where there is a clear need for additional work.

Immediate priorities are to:

  • Develop high integrity guidance for buyers of carbon credits, including on climate claims by businesses.
  • Support access to high-integrity voluntary carbon markets and monitor broader supply-side integrity efforts.

This year, VCMI launched a consultation with stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, Indigenous Peoples’ groups, governments, businesses and others to gather views on how carbon credits can be voluntarily used and claimed by businesses as part of credible net-zero strategies.

The results, based on feedback from 52 organisations including 22 businesses and 19 NGOs, make clear that:

  • It will be critical to support businesses in their engagement with the marketplace and guide private sector investment to ensure it is equitable.
  • Capacity building is key to ensuring that a wide range of countries are able to benefit from voluntary carbon markets.
  • Claims Guidance should align with the need to limit future warming to 1.5C.
  • Accounting and reporting must be underpinned by agreed definitions and processes.
  • Aligning Claims Guidance with regulation and governance mechanisms will require a focus on Article 6.

Feedback on the report, along with other stakeholder engagement, informed the Roadmap, VCMI’s path forward to 2022 and development of the Claims Guidance and Access Strategies.

Download consultation findings

Alok Sharma profile picture
Alok Sharma President for COP26

“Voluntary carbon markets can increase finance flows. I am pleased the UK Government is supporting the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative to help ensure they deliver the greatest benefits for climate, for people and nature.”

Rachel Kyte profile picture
Rachel Kyte Dean of the Fletcher School, Tufts University

“Without clarification — and real enforcement — net zero will become an empty slogan that governments, corporations and investors can use to greenwash emissions as usual.”

Hindou Ibrahim profile picture
Hindou Ibrahim Founder and President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)

“Voluntary carbon market investment in natural climate solutions has the potential – only if it is done right – to accelerate climate mitigation while increasing much needed finance for natural climate solutions. Doing it right means respecting the rights, land, and territories of Indigenous Peoples; supporting projects governed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities while increasing finance for community conservations; and ensuring gender, social, and environmental standards.”

Supported by

VCMI is supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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