New VCMI guidance paves the way for companies to invest in high-integrity carbon markets

The VCMI’s recently released Claims Code of Practice marks a significant milestone in the effort to provide clear guidance for companies on the credible voluntary use of carbon credits. The guidance reinforces the emerging consensus that the purchase of carbon credits should represent supplemental action – or “beyond value chain mitigation” – through which companies contribute to the collective global effort to reach net zero, in addition to, not a replacement for, their internal emission reductions in line with credible, net-zero decarbonization strategies. 

This complements a range of new guidance for companies selecting high-integrity NBS credits to help the market move toward credits with high social and environmental integrity. This includes the Tropical Forest Credit Integrity (TFCI) Guide that was released last month by eight leading environmental organizations. 

Ensuring credible corporate claims is critical for building trust in the integrity of the voluntary carbon market and its ability to make a significant and meaningful contribution to climate action. To date, the lack of clarity about what different corporate commitments and claims mean, the lack of transparency about corporate climate performance, and inconsistent use of terminology have posed significant threats to confidence in the VCM and corporate commitments more broadly. 

We commend the VCMI for its thought leadership on this front and call on all stakeholders to participate in the open public consultation to assist in the development of this guidance to help ensure it delivers the desired impact. We look forward to the next phase of the initiative and to supporting its success. 

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