Voluntary Carbon Markets Joint Policy Statement and Principles

May 1, 2024

On May 28, 2024, the U.S. government publicly endorsed Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs) in a joint statement. The statement offers an overview of the potential and current state of VCMs.

The U.S. government believes that VCMs can play a meaningful role in facilitating GHG emissions reductions and removals, and that there is much potential for VCM growth in the coming years as funding to combat climate change increases.

The statement outlines current difficulties being faced by VCMs including a lack of market confidence in the integrity of the credited emissions and concerns over credible uses of the credits (e.g., being used to address Scope 3 emissions).

The statement closes by providing 7 guiding principles for responsible participation within VCMs to address the current difficulties:

  1. Carbon credits and the activities that generate them should meet credible atmospheric integrity standards and represent real decarbonization.
  2. Credit-generating activities should avoid environmental and social harm and should, where applicable, support co-benefits and transparent and inclusive benefits-sharing.
  3. Corporate buyers that use credits should prioritize measurable emissions reductions within their own value chains.
  4. Credit users should publicly disclose the nature of purchased and retired credits.
  5. Public claims by credit users should accurately reflect the climate impact of retired credits and should only rely on credits that meet high integrity standards.
  6. Market participants should contribute to efforts that improve market integrity.
  7. Policymakers and market participants should facilitate efficient market participation and seek to lower transaction costs.

Continue reading at Voluntary Carbon Markets Joint Policy Statement and Principles