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Integrity Council appoints Amy Merrill as interim COO, succeeding William McDonnell

Written by ICVCM


The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market announced today that Amy Merrill will become interim Chief Operating Officer in early December when the current COO, William McDonnell, steps down to take up a new position as Chief Financial Officer at Insurance Australia Group.

McDonnell joined the Integrity Council in October 2021 as the first member of staff, when it was formed in response to the final recommendations of the Taskforce on Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market. He was integral in setting up the organisation, hiring staff and creating an infrastructure that has laid the foundations of its success.

Working closely with the Chair, Annette Nazareth, he has established the brand globally, and overseen a process of extensive consultation with stakeholders throughout the market, culminating in the publication of the Core Carbon PrinciplesAssessment Framework, and procedure for assessing carbon-crediting programs and categories of credits.

Amy Merrill (Steen), currently Senior Director and Head of Global Carbon Markets at C2ES, has been working with the Integrity Council’s Executive Secretariat since February this year. Merrill is a qualified UK lawyer with over 20 years’ experience developing climate and carbon finance policy frameworks and developing legal documentation relating to climate change.

She brings extensive knowledge of the global compliance and voluntary carbon markets, and deep policy and legal expertise, having led the UNFCCC secretariat’s support for the development and adoption of rules for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. During her decade as a senior lawyer at the UNFCCC secretariat, she also led its legal support for the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms and launched the work of the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee.

Prior to the UNFCCC, Amy was a senior carbon and climate finance lawyer in the City of London working with multilateral development banks and investment banks. More recently she was Senior Legal Manager for Climate Asset Management, where she developed and negotiated investment documents for scaled investment in community focused nature-based projects.

Amy Merrill is Senior Director and Head of Global Carbon Markets at C2ES

Annette Nazareth, Chair of the Integrity Council, said: “William has led the Integrity Council’s work sure-footedly over the past two years, engaging organisations with a wide range of perspectives to achieve consensus on a global benchmark for high integrity. Amy brings the deep expertise we need to take the helm now, as we focus on translating our Core Carbon Principles into action that will enable the voluntary carbon market to play a key role in supporting global climate action.”

William McDonnell said: “It has been a great honour and privilege to build the organisation and lead the executive secretariat in its first two years. Publication of the full CCP rule book following extensive consultation is an important milestone which is already driving increased ambition in the voluntary carbon market.

 “The Integrity Council is now widely recognised as the de facto standard-setter for VCM carbon credit quality, and I’d like to thank all my colleagues across our Board, Expert Panel and Secretariat who have worked so hard to achieve this, together with all our partners and other stakeholders who have contributed to and continue to support our mission as we embark on the next chapter.”

Amy Merrill said: “The next months will be critical as we assess carbon-crediting programs and categories of credits and pave the way for the launch of CCP-labelled credits. We expect the introduction of recognisable and comparable high-integrity credits to catalyse activity and growth in the market. CCP labels will give buyers confidence they are making a genuine impact on emissions and enable project developers to access finance from capital markets.

“We intend to ratchet up ambition in the market over time and have already signalled that we intend to strengthen requirements in key areas. We are about to start convening experts in workstreams on key policy and market issues to identify best practice that will inform the next version of our Assessment Framework, due for implementation in 2026.”

The Integrity Council expects to announce the results of its first assessments of carbon-crediting programs and categories of credits in early 2024, enabling CCP-labelled credits to appear on the market soon after.


For more information and to arrange interviews please contact:

David Mason                           [email protected]               +44 7799 072320

Georgia Crump                       [email protected]             +44 7565 398747


About the Integrity Council

The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (Integrity Council) is an independent governance body for the voluntary carbon market, which aims to ensure the voluntary carbon market accelerates a just transition to 1.5°C.

The Integrity Council aims to set and maintain a voluntary global threshold standard for quality in the voluntary carbon market. The threshold standard is based on the Integrity Council’s Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) and is implemented through an Assessment Framework that sets out what high quality means by reference to those principles. The result is a threshold standard and label that provide a credible, rigorous, and readily accessible means of identifying high-quality carbon credits.