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Global carbon market standards

Updated: Apr 17, 2023


As the world continues to experience the effects of climate change, there has been a growing need to reduce carbon emissions. Carbon markets have emerged as a key tool for achieving this goal. In this article, we will explore some of the global carbon market standards for emissions reduction projects.

Gold Standard





1. Gold Standard

The Gold Standard certification is a standard designed to promote sustainable development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This standard is recognized globally as one of the highest standards for carbon offset projects. The Gold Standard carbon offsets are based on three principles: environmental integrity, sustainable development, and stakeholder consultation. Gold Standard carbon offsets have been used for a variety of projects, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and waste management.


Verified Carbon Standard







2. VCS (Verified Carbon Standard)

The VCS is a widely recognized standard for voluntary carbon offset projects. The VCS was established in 2007 and has since become one of the most widely used standards for projects. It was developed by Verra, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2005 by environmental and business leaders in Washington, DC. The VCS provides guidance on project development, monitoring, and verification. The VCS is used for a wide range of projects, including renewable energy, forestry, and agriculture.

Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards





3. Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards

The CCB Standards are a set of standards that focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation, community development, and biodiversity conservation. The CCB Standards identify carefully designed land management projects that simultaneously address climate change, support local communities and smallholders, and conserve biodiversity.. The CCB Standards are used across forest conservation, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy projects.


Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard





4. Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta)

The SD VISta is a standard that focuses on sustainable development and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The SD VISta provides guidance on project design, monitoring, and verification. The SD VISta has been used for a wide range of projects, including renewable energy, waste management, and sustainable agriculture.

Social Carbon






5. SOCIALCARBON

SOCIALCARBON is a standard that focuses on social and environmental sustainability. The SOCIALCARBON standard sets out rules and criteria for the design, implementation and assessment of projects that aim to deliver high-impact sustainable development benefits. The SOCIALCARBON standard is quite new and has been used for a wide range of projects, including renewable energy, waste management, and sustainable agriculture.



Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)






6. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was the first scheme of its kind, a mechanism established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The CDM allowed developed countries to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries in order to meet their own emission reduction targets. The scheme stopped accepting new projects in 2020 as the Paris Agreement takes effect instead.


In conclusion, the global carbon market standards for emissions reduction projects are essential for promoting sustainable development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Gold Standard, VCS, CCB Standards, SD VISta, SOCIALCARBON, and CDM are some of the standards used for a multitude of projects. Each of these standards has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to select the appropriate standard for a particular project based on its goals and objectives.

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