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Integrity Council welcomes US Govt’s high-integrity principles for carbon credits

Written by ICVCM


The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market is an independent, non-profit governance body for the voluntary carbon market, which aims to maximise its potential to finance climate solutions.

Integrity Council Chair, Annette Nazareth, welcomes the U.S. Government’s announcement of principles to advance high-integrity voluntary carbon markets.

“We welcome the announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration of high-integrity principles for voluntary carbon markets that can ensure carbon credits result in genuine reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. government supply side principles are aligned with the Integrity Council’s Core Carbon Principles, which establish the first independent global benchmark for high-integrity carbon credits.

“A number of other governments and regulators have announced support for the CCPs or for high-integrity principles that are closely aligned with the CCPs including the UK government, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

“While companies’ first priority must always be to make rapid cuts to their own emissions, buying high-integrity credits allows them to go further and take responsibility today for emissions they cannot yet cut. Evidence shows this also spurs on their efforts to decarbonise their operations and supply chain.

“We are in a climate emergency and we need every tool in the box to meet the 1.5°C target. High-integrity carbon credits can mobilise private finance at scale for projects to reduce and remove billions of tonnes of emissions that would not otherwise be viable. They can also channel significant climate finance to countries in the Global South.”

The Integrity Council’s Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) establish the first independent global benchmark for high-integrity carbon credits, ten fundamental principles that create real, verifiable climate impact, based on the latest science and best practice. CCP-labelled carbon credits are designed to build trust in the market and enable it to scale.

The U.S. Government document acknowledges that its supply side principles draw from existing best practice including the work of the Integrity Council. (Footnote 5, page 6.)

The high-integrity CCP label will give confidence that carbon credits deliver genuine emissions reductions and bring sustainable development benefits that support Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPs and LCs). Projects will have to disclose their impact on emissions, society and the environment, making it easier for third parties to monitor their performance.

The biggest carbon-crediting programs in the market have updated their procedures to comply with the rigorous CCP criteria. ACR, ART, Climate Action Reserve, Gold Standard and VCS (operated by Verra) are now eligible to use the CCP label on new and existing credits using CCP-approved methodologies. The Integrity Council expects to announce its first approved methodologies shortly.

The CCP label launches a new chapter for the voluntary carbon market. It will unlock private sector finance for projects to reduce and remove billions of tonnes of emissions that would not otherwise be viable. It will channel climate finance to countries in the Global South, helping them achieve their national climate goals. It will also support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, because all new projects will be required to make a positive contribution to sustainable development and adopt robust measures to protect people and the environment.

Fact Sheet

The Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Principles for High-Integrity Voluntary Carbon Markets Fact Sheet can be found on whitehouse.gov.


Watch remarks by Secretary Yellen, Biden Administration Officials on Voluntary Carbon Market Principles.