The Core Carbon Principles Assessment Framework

The Integrity Council’s Core Carbon Principles Assessment Framework sets out the detailed criteria it will use to assess whether carbon-crediting programs and categories of carbon credits meet the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs). Carbon-crediting programs assessed as CCP-eligible will be able to use the CCP label on carbon credits from approved categories. 

Programs can apply for assessment by submitting evidence that they meet the CCPs through the Integrity Council’s application portal.

What is the Assessment Framework?

The Assessment Framework sets a robust, achievable threshold that aims to raise standards across the voluntary carbon market to a consistent level of quality. The publication linked below follows the publication in March 2023 of the Core Carbon Principles, Assessment Framework for carbon-crediting programs, and Assessment Procedure.

The Assessment Framework criteria 

The Assessment Framework lays out the criteria that carbon-crediting programs and categories must meet to quality for the CCP label. Credits must fund projects to reduce and remove emissions that are:

  • Compatible with a transition to net zero. The framework rules out projects that lock in emissions.
  • Permanent. Projects must compensate for any reversals that happen within 40 years.
  • Additional. Reductions and removals would not have happened without carbon credit revenue.

  • Robustly quantified. The emissions impact must be measured conservatively to minimize the risk of overestimation.

The CCP label

To ensure the voluntary carbon market accelerates a just transition to 1.5°C, the Integrity Council has developed an Assessment Framework for carbon-crediting programs and categories of carbon credits. If programs and categories meet the criteria laid out in the Assessment Framework, they are assessed as CCP-eligible and given the CCP label. 

The CCP label is designed to build trust in the voluntary carbon market and unlock investment by making it easy for buyers to recognize and put a price on a high-integrity carbon credit no matter which carbon crediting program issued it, what kind of credit it is, or where it is generated. 

This aims to set and maintain a voluntary global threshold standard for quality in the voluntary carbon market.  

How will the Assessment Framework be used? 

The Assessment Framework will be used to assess whether programs meet the CCP criteria. While ICVCM is assessing whether programs meet the CCP criteria, working groups of internal and external experts will be set up to review and assess categories of carbon credits.  

A Categories Working Group will make recommendations on which categories should go through an internal assessment process, which raise more complex issues and require assessment by a Multi-Stakeholder Working Group, and which credits should not be approved.  

Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups consisting of experts with specialised knowledge will assess categories that raise more complex issues. They will recommend whether categories should be approved. Categories with the largest current or expected market share will be prioritized for assessment.  

The ICVCM Board will make the final decisions on programs and categories.

The Assessment Application Platform 

We invite carbon-crediting programs to apply for assessment through this interactive platform. Carbon-crediting programs will be assessed on whether they meet the criteria and requirements as laid out in the Assessment Framework, and successful programs will become CCP-eligible. 

Applicants are required to provide evidence in line with the requirements of the Assessment Framework. Once the submission of information, documentation, and evidence by programs is complete, programs will be notified and the application will proceed to the assessment stage.  


Document - Foreword


Document Part 1

Section 1

Document Part 2

Section 2

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Core Carbon Principles
Document Part 3

Section 3

Document: Part 4

Section 4

Document Part 5

Section 5

Document Part 6

Section 6

Part 3: Summary for Decision Makers
Part 4: Assessment Framework
Part 5: Definitions
Part 6: Assessment Procedure

Public Briefing

Feedback Statement Resources

What next for the Integrity Council? 

ICVCM plans to update and strengthen the CCPs and Assessment Criteria over time, learning lessons from experience, reflecting scientific and technical advances, and taking market developments into account.  

Multi-Stakeholder Work Programs, public consultations, and workshops with key market participants including programs, project developers, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, will all feed into the next version of the CCPs, due to be launched in 2025 for implementation in 2026.  

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