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What is the objective of VCMI?

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 focusses 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.


Who is behind VCMI?

From March to mid-July 2021, the early scoping and consultation phase of VCMI was conducted by a Consortium led by Meridian Institute, a US-based non-profit consultancy that specialises in facilitating complex, multi-stakeholder processes. Climate Focus, Trove Research, and a secondee from the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Alliance provided technical advice and support.

From July 2021, a new governance framework takes effect to guide VCMI through the next phase of work to April 2022. This includes a Steering Committee as VCMI’s high-level decision-making body, co-chaired by Rachel Kyte, Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Tariye Gbadegesin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment.

The wider VCMI governance structure is designed to create transparency, build trust, and ensure diverse stakeholders have opportunities to provide input. This includes an Expert Advisory Group, a Country Contact Group, and Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Contact Groups that will include representatives from businesses, civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.

We are looking to develop a pooled fund from interested donors to support additional research and capacity-building in line with VCMI’s mission. This would be overseen by a Grants Committee.

Meridian Institute’s role will shift from managing a consortium during the initial scoping and consultation phase to serving as the VCMI Secretariat.

What is VCMI’s consultation?

VCMI’s Consultation Report aims to encourage dialogue and an exchange of ideas to inform the next phase of VCMI’s work.

You can view and download the full report here.

We are inviting feedback on the content of this report. Please share your views here by 10th September 2021.

How long will the consultation run for?

Our consultation report will be published in July for global consultation, which will close on 10th September 2021. An update will be published in late-2021.

Who can contribute to the consultation?

Everyone can contribute to the consultation – more details of how to get involved are available here.

We are particularly keen to get the views of organisations with a stake in VCMs – governments, businesses, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples, civil society actors, and climate change experts – and are actively engaged with these groups.

Is VCMI asking stakeholders to sign up to VCMI’s proposed vision and principles?

VCMI is undertaking a global consultation process with businesses, governments, climate change experts, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society around the world. We are not asking for these organisations to endorse VCMI or any principles or recommendations at this time – instead, we are asking stakeholders to share their views and ideas in response to the proposed vision for VCMs, the principles that support that vision, and options for legitimate and credible claims regarding the use of carbon credits.

By COP26, VCMI will issue an update on the progress of these consultations and recommendations on next steps to turn the findings into action.

How does VCMI manage conflicts of interest?

VCMI takes ethical considerations and conflict of interest issues seriously. We fully understand that the legitimacy of our work requires transparency and that our members must adhere to ethical standards. Consequently, VCMI has procedures and policies in place to which members of committees must comply. You can view the policy here.

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