VCMI announces publication date for additional guidance within Claims Code of Practice

16 October 2023, London – The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) has today announced the publishing timetable for the release of additional guidance to supplement its Claims Code of Practice (Claims Code). This follows successful engagement and further research since the launch of the Claims Code in June.

Launch of additional guidance

VCMI is today announcing that the additional guidance for its Claims Code will be released on the 28th November. The launch of this guidance will enable companies to begin the process of making Claims in line with VCMI’s Claims Code. This will promote high-integrity on the demand-side, giving credibility to corporate climate claims and boosting trust and confidence in the voluntary carbon markets (VCMs).

The additional guidance will facilitate and expand implementation of the Claims Code. This will include:

  • The VCMI Monitoring, Reporting and Assurance (MRA) Framework
  • Additional claim tiers and an “on-ramp” to provide a pathway to high-ambition Claims
  • Launch of the branded Claim/Mark and associated branding guidelines

VCMI has also initiated an Early Adopters Program, with the intent to highlight and support a select group of corporate climate leaders ready to be recognized for raising their ambition by being one of the first to make a VCMI claim.

VCMI Stakeholder Forum Update

The development of additional guidance has been a core focus of the workstreams of the VCMI Stakeholder Forum, which met during New York Climate Week. The Stakeholder Forum captures views and perspectives from a broad range of senior VCM participants to ensure that VCMI’s guidance is well designed, easy to understand and effective.

The meeting was the third of the Stakeholder Forum since its inception, and the first in-person discussion since the launch of the Claims Code in June. It was an opportunity to collaborate with members of the VCMI Secretariat, Expert Advisory Group and Steering Committee and feed into the additional guidance that will be released in November and will support the Claims Code, increasing its sophistication and application for specific use-cases, and accelerating its adoption.

With over 60 representatives in the Stakeholder Forum, the group is a key facility in helping the Claims Code drive and focus climate action through the use of VCMs. The group includes representatives from corporates, government, civil society and academia, VCM infrastructure and initiatives, and NGOs. A full list of forum participants is available on the VCMI website.

VCMI Engagement During New York Climate Week

VCMI’s broader activity during New York Climate Week focused squarely on furthering the cause for high-integrity carbon markets. This included a joint roundtable with the COP28 Presidency and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ) along with businesses, financial institutions, and standard setters that sought to build up high-integrity demand in VCMs.

Following the roundtable, VCMI, GFANZ and the COP28 presidency issued a call for companies to act now to ensure that COP28 is a COP of Action on VCMs which reaffirms their role in the climate fight and confirms high-integrity in corporate buyers (both in terms of purchasing high-quality carbon credits and credible use of those credits and associated claims).

VCMI also participated extensively across the agenda of New York Climate Week, engaging with and speaking at over 26 events, including:

  • IETA’s North American Climate summit where VCMI participated in a co-hosted event with the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) to discuss the role of each of their standards in developing high-integrity carbon markets
  • Panel event with Weyerhauser Timber company on the role of forestry credits
  • NCS Alliance Panel event discussing the role of nature-based carbon credits
  • And a number of closed-door events focused on expanding and developing high-integrity carbon markets

Mark Kenber, Executive Director, VCMI: ‘It was a pleasure to have so many of VCMI’s stakeholder forum participants in the same room during New York Climate Week. The invaluable opinions and market perspective that they collectively bring to VCMI is essential in furthering the impact and adoption of our Claims Code of Practice.” 

“The additional guidance we plan to release in November will provide further technical guidance to companies looking to engage in VCMs. A lot of the debate at New York Climate Week identified the need for comprehensive guidance around the use and success of the voluntary carbon markets and we extend our thanks to our stakeholder forum for all their contributions – which will serve to deliver this level of guidance.

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